Tag Archives: Life

In fiction as in life …?

Thea today, writing from the grandbaby’s house where I’m caretaking him for the next few weeks, and I’m still crazy in love — even after 15 months. Which feeds into the next momentous month in which John and I celebrate our 47th anniversary. It’s kind of staggering to think it’s been that many years. But even more so, how we met, about two years before that, just after he’d just graduated college and we separately both attended to a party at the home of my friend Sharon in Newark, NJ.

I like to think ours was a grand love story, but maybe, because we were an interfaith couple (no small thing back then), it was more about rebellion. Or our just being together and figuring all of it out as we went.

Cut to ten years later. We were living in Brooklyn. I was pregnant out to the there with my eldest son. We were at a performance of Trelawny of the Wells at Lincoln Center. In the break between the first and second act, we were milling in the lobby, and a woman approached me. “Is your name Thea?”

I said yes. She told me her name and asked if I remembered her. I did. She was a friend Sharon’s and we’d hung out several times, no more than that, back in the days after that party at Sharon’s house. But I hadn’t seen her in more than ten years, and I’d not been in contact with Sharon either after John and I married.

She said, “Sharon is dead.”

Last thing I expected to hear. The words exploded like a bomb, chilling me to the bone. Sharon had died of complications of Type 1 diabetes. She couldn’t have been more than 35 years old.

“I thought you should know,” she said And then she was gone, leaving me devastated. And I couldn’t find her in the audience or after, and I never saw her again.

I still get chills thinking about it. How did she recognize me after all that time, AND that pregnant?
How did it happen this one night she and I were separately in the audience and she saw me, she knew me — and felt confident enough that I was who she thought I was to approach me? And how could she just disappear, never to be seen again?

I’ve often thought that incident would make a terrific scene in a book. Except for the fact she vanished. In a book, she’d have to return at some point because otherwise the reader would be questioning where she went and what her purpose was. It’s not enough just to have a character deliver bad news and exit right. There has to be some reason, some driving motivation, everything interconnected, all ends tied up.

Fiction is not life. Life is random. That moment at Lincoln Center was random — but was it? It haunts me even after all these years because it all seemed so coincidental — and yet it wasn’t. Still, I wonder … was she an angel sent perhaps by Sharon to tell me I was being watched over? I only recently even considered that. And if so, what signs have I missed all these years not contemplating that possibility? Or was it just a really intriguing idea to springboard a plot for a novel I have yet to write?

Of course that would be my first thought. Wouldn’t it be yours?

Or is there more to it than that?

Still and all, at this anniversary time of the year, I remember Sharon. I can close my eyes and see her just as she was, a pretty red-headed twenty year old, bedeviled but never beaten down by the disease that would take her life. But back then, at that party that night, without knowing it, by inviting John Devine, she gave me my future and my life.

What do you think? Was it a coincidence? Meant to be? An angel? A figment of my imagination? Have you ever had a moment like that?

Thea Devine is the author of 27 erotic historical and contemporary romances, five of which have just been reissued in Kindle editions. and nearly a dozen novellas. She’s been named a Romance Pioneer by Romantic Times, and is currently working on a new erotic contemporary novel.

What Are Your Goals?

Short post this week. I’m back in Maine, this time on vacation with the fam. Pray for me.
This week I want to talk a little about goals.
What are your goals? I think it’s important for everybody to define their goals. Especially those related to writing. A lot of people get dreams and goals confused. Goals are definable. Measurable. With a goal there is an end in sight.
I want to be a New York Times best selling author is not a goal. It’s a dream. The steps you take to get there can be goals.
Write them down. Having something visible always helps. Start small. That way you can always feel like you accomplished something. When I started writing my goal was to write two pages a day. Then my goal was to write a thousand words a day. Then it was to finish a book. Then it was to learn how write a query letter.
Each time I met a goal I crossed it off my list with a red pen and with each red stroke I felt a little better about myself.
I met all the goals on my list. Which meant I needed to challenge myself.
It’s important to never be at a stand still in life. I need to be always reaching for something.
So today I am going share with you my new list of goals.
1. Become a NYT best selling author. (Just kidding)
2. Write 1200 words a day until I finish my WIP.
3. Shine up that old manuscript in that different genre and get it ready for the submission process by the end of August.
4. Read more. I read surprisingly little these days. And that’s not good for my writing.
Your turn! Tell me one of your goals.

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Those are my parents and the dog enjoying the beach.

Taking A Vacation From Writing

I spent the weekend in Maine with some friends. The trip had been planned since February and I had been excited to go all along but as the weekend neared I began to grow panicky. Why you ask? Was I afraid of bad weather? Not getting along with my friends? Spending hours in a car with little to do to occupy myself?

No to all of those things. I was panicky because I knew I wasn’t going to bring my laptop. Since I decided I wanted to be a writer I have written every single day without fail. And now that I have deadlines looming and characters begging for their stories to be told I really feel the pull to get the words out of me. But I was going away and while I can have hours of fun writing I know that my friend and her sister wouldn’t get as big of a kick out of it as I would. I told myself I could write anytime. That writing would always be there for me. Time with my friends might be limited. So I left it home.

The world wasn’t going to end without it. And even though when I woke up early some mornings with my fingers itching to add to my WIP I was okay without it, because I ended up needing to take a step back. I always think of myself as a panster, but in reality I’m not. Before I start writing I know how every book I write is going to end, the major turning points and the black moment. And each day I sit down to write I always have a plan for what I going to put down on the page. But lately in a rush to get my word count up I was writing things that had no purpose, scenes that didn’t move the story forward. I’m not a girl who spends a lot of time editing after the book is done, so it’s important for me to get it right the first time. (I know some people say it’s okay for your first draft to suck and it is okay for some people, but I’m not that kind of writer and if you aren’t then that’s okay too.)

My favorite store in Kennebunkport.

It was good for me to take a step back because it allowed me to think of my book as a whole instead of just scenes slapped together. Instead of reaching for my laptop I lay in bed and thought about all the little things that make a book good. I want my book to be good. So I knew I had to dig deeper and find what it was missing.

On the second morning of the trip after a very fun day of shopping and a night of watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies my mind was clear enough to actually plot the second half of my book scene by scene.

I grabbed my phone and typed myself the world’s longest memo. I knew that I wasn’t going to add any new words to my WIP but I knew that when I did I wouldn’t have to rack my brain for words to put on the page. In the end even though I didn’t spend anytime actually writing I managed to get a lot of work done.

Now I’m back home enjoying my last free bit of weekend before I have to return to work. My trusty laptop is with me but I have decided that I’m not going to write a single word until tomorrow. My vacation from writing hasn’t ended yet.

So what about you? Do you ever allow yourself to take a step back? Are you really a panster? Like Maine? Ever see that giant liquor store on the highway in New Hampshire? Any and all comments are welcome.

Oh and I am heading back to Maine next week (a different part) with my family and I am lugging this bad boy with me. I missed it!

Facebook Failures…. More on Social Media

So I must admit I don’t have a Facebook fan page yet. Mostly because I keep waffling about my pen name, which is Sugar Jamison. Is it dumb? Absolutely. BUT my grandmother’s name is Cookie. Even her license plate says so. Her real name is Helen. (Boring) My mother’s name is Candy. I had no idea that her real name was Regina until I was six. I seem to come from a family of stripper names so why not continue to trend to the 3rd generation. Cookie… Candy… Sugar.  Get it?

The other reason I haven’t done the fan page thing yet is because I have been far too lazy to set it up. I know you need 25 likes to activate it and from what I heard from some other people setting one up can be a small pain. I know this needs to be done in the near future. Those of you out there who have one can school me on this.  Does a fan page allow you to as voyeuristic as a regular page? Do I have access to a person’s entire profile just because they liked me? Or do we need to be true Facebook Friends for that honor?

I think the reason we like Facebook is because we can see another person’s life through their posts, pictures and likes. I follow my a few of my favorite authors on there. Jill Shalvis does and excellent job connecting with her fans. She and Kristan Higgins’ man wars are the highlight of my day when they happen and my news feed is filled with sexy bare-chested, dreamy-eyed men. And I love Molly O’Keefe who let us in to her life by posting a video of her son riding a bike for the first time and her little girl on the beach. Like her page if you get a chance and buy her book(CAN’T BUY ME LOVE) when it comes out June 26. (Read the ARC and I LOVED it. And I don’t often love books.)

But that doesn’t mean Facebook is without its faults. I can’t blame the founders of Facebook for it but the people who use it. Here’s why…

  • My own cousin likes to post pictures of herself in her underwear. Seriously? Nobody wants to see that. But I think it’s a small attempt to get back at her mother who is extremely religious and conservative. I think she starts each day thinking of how she can disappoint her mother.
  • People who make extreme political statements. Dude, I don’t care if you don’t like the president or the governor or the mayor. We all have the right to freedom of speech but I rather you keep your profanity laced rants about politicians to yourself. What happened to showing people a tiny bit of respect?
  • The people who are always posting depressing stuff about how their life is miserable, or how lonely they are. Trust me you aren’t going to find what makes you happy if you spend your whole day complaining on Facebook.
  • Finally and this really annoys me. The people and I hate to say this but they are usually women who like to play out their drama on Facebook for all the world to see. This actually came from my news feed and is the only clean example that I could use.

They say money cant buy happiness..i disagree! If he isnt going to be a dad to his kids and love them, hes gonna pay for their happiness! Ill make sure it happens! 24 days again, not a txt, call or letter in the mail to make sure his kids are ok!! Smh. and hes work a 2nd job for 5 months now that i have been kind enuf to not drag his ass to court to collect from that! Well no more! he doesnt need the xtra $ to feed his fat ass make it even fatter! My kids could use it for sports and dance and movies etc!  Soooo hiho hiho its back to court we go!! .

OMG that is personal! Nobody outside of her family needs to know that. Facebook is not the appropriate forum to play out family drama. Plus it’s just not classy and it doesn’t just lower my opinion of him but of her too.

The point to all this is keep it classy on the internet folks.

Your turn! What do you think about Facebook? Like it? Hate it? Did you buy stock? Is it your prefered method of social media? Wanna be friends? Any and all comments are welcome.

Don’t Hate Me ‘Cause I’m Beautiful… Did Samantha Brick Have a Point?

You’ve all heard of Samantha Brick at this point. Right? If not she is the journalist(and I use that word loosely) who wrote There Are Downsides to Looking This Pretty: Why Women Hate Me for Being Beautiful.” No I’m not going to join the bandwagon and trash her because we here at the Seven Scribes aren’t into that. But neither am I going to defend her words. If you missed all the hubbub you can click HERE to read the article. If you want the short version… Ms. Brick claims that because she is so beautiful she has received more than her fair share of attention from men,and because of that she has lost female friendships because women automatically think their husbands want her. AND therefore all women hate her for…. well… being so damn beautiful.

Okay…..

So maybe I am going to bash her a little bit. But only a tiny bit. And this is just my personal opinion but… if you announce how beautiful you are to the world, women are automatically going to dislike you. For the simple reason that it doesn’t make you seem beautiful on the inside.  The way the article was written, at least to me, doesn’t make Ms. Brick seem very beautiful at all. Conceited yes. Delusional maybe. And that all women who aren’t as lovely as she is are jealous, petty and insecure. Which we all know is not true.

As for her physical beauty,you can see what Ms. Brick looks like for yourself if you click on the link above. To some her beauty it is truly debatable.

Now to my point, which is that despite all the seemingly self-centered complaining, Ms. Brick may have actually touched on something important. And no it isn’t that beautiful women have it harder than the rest of us. But maybe that women tend to gravitate towards friendships with women who are like them. Think about it for a moment. Think about all of your close friends. What they look like. How they dress. What kinds of hobbies they have. And if all your friends are varied and different and fabulous well that’s great for you but it isn’t the norm.

Your friends are your friends because in some way shape or form they are somewhat like you. I’ll give you an example from my own life. I was on vacation in Florida with a good friend of mine last year. We were sitting in one of those little seafood shacks when a group of people our age walked in. They were all hard bodied and bronzed. The girls in the group had that kind of long blonde hair that looks fabulous even after a day at the beach. They wore bikinis and had belly button piercings. To most they would be undeniably hot.

But when I saw them walk in I made a face.  My friend who knows me too well caught it. Busted I said to her, “I’ve never had friends like that.”

To which she replied, “Skinny, blonde, all American white girls?”

She was joking but she was right to a certain extent. My friend and I get along because we share similar experiences. Unlike those girls who have never had to worry about going into a store and not finding anything in their size. Or having their thighs touch when they walk.(Blast you chub rub!) Or making sure their personality shines when their looks don’t always. Looking at the girls I knew they wouldn’t get my sarcastic jokes. Or understand an ounce of what I go through just to look presentable to the world. They just wouldn’t get me.

Or maybe….That was just my perception of them. Hey, I’ll admit it. I judged them without even speaking to them. They could have been my friendship soul mates.(I sooo doubt it.) But I would never know because I would never give them the time of day simply because of how they looked. And maybe that’s where Ms. Brick had a point. Maybe those women don’t want to be friends with her because she is simply too different from them.  For the most part (I think) women like women who are like them and that’s why Sunday school teachers and strippers aren’t BFF’s. Is it right? Maybe not but that’s how life is.

Your turn. What do you think about all of this? Agree with Ms. Brick. Agree with me? Disagree with me? What are your friends like?