One book gone, another still to be written

I turned in my revisions last night at about midnight. Since my editor is in the UK, that means they'd be sitting in her inbox when she arrived in the morning. What a relief to get them gone! The work isn't done until she tells me it is, so no getting my hopes up that the book is finished yet. There may be some more work to do.

In the meantime, I have a sheikh novella to write! My lovely editor called me this morning to talk about him. I suspected there would be work to do there, and of course I was right. The novella is a new format for me, so it's also a learning experience to try and pack all the power and emotional punch of a Presents into 25k. That story is due in about 3 weeks now, so guess who will be busy and scarce once more? πŸ™‚

But I'm excited about the holiday this week! What American doesn't love Thanksgiving? A day dedicated to eating and spent with family? Can't wait. We're going to my mother's house, and one of my brothers will be there with his family too. I'm making my famous Cajun stuffing, and I believe I'm in charge of cranberry sauce too. Tomorrow, my mother and I are going shopping together for many of the fixins (a Southern word, for my international readers, that means ingredients).

Of course I'm going to have to find a way to write during all this festivity. And I will. I'll write early, write late, and write whenever there's a free moment.

I'm still looking for my winner last week! Cynthia Gander, where are you? Email me for your book! πŸ™‚

And, speaking of books, Cavelli's Lost Heir is officially out in the UK now! If you live in the UK, and you happen to see my book on the shelves, could you snap a pic? Email to me at lynn AT lynnrayeharris DOT com, and I'll send you a couple of my lovely bookmarks!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

The blog is most likely on hiatus until after the new year. πŸ™‚ If I think of something I must say, I'll post — otherwise, rejoin me on Jan 5 and we'll begin a new year of talking all things writing. Enjoy this little video!

What is wrong with people?

I can't tell you the number of stores I've gone to the past few days and found shopping carts all over the parking lot. What is wrong with people that they can't walk the darn thing the few feet it takes to get to the cart corral? I'm so fed up with lazy people unloading their carts and pushing the things between the vehicles and leaving them. I couldn't even park in one spot yesterday because it had become a de facto corral — and the corral wasn't full and wasn't far away.

Do people really not care if their cars get dinged with these runaway carts? Or do they feel that since they are leaving, their car isn't in danger? Of course there are legitimate excuses not to take the cart back — sometimes a person is sick or hurt and just wants to get in the car and go. It happens — but not to every blessed person at the store on the same day!

I always walk the cart to where it's supposed to be. I even walk carts into the store when I get out of my car and there's a stray cart perilously close by. I still have a huge dent in my door where some lovely person in Hawaii shoved a car door or a cart into it and then skedaddled. It's just a dent, not missing paint or anything, so I still haven't had it fixed (2 years later). But I think about it every time I see stray carts all over the parking lot. Irritates me.

So, it's the holiday season and I'm ranting. πŸ™‚ But in this season of giving and goodwill toward others, why are people so rude about shopping carts? Why can't they return it? For most of us, there is no excuse.

What bugs you about shopping this time of year? Is the rampant outbreak of homeless carts merely an Alabama phenomenon, or is it happening in your corner of the world too?

Favorite lines redux

Today, it's off to see my stylist for highlights and a trim, then off to do a little bit of last minute shopping, and then perhaps a trip to the antique store (I hear my hubby scream).

Nothing new or interesting to report. We watched more holiday fare on the movie screen last night. Very fun. A CHRISTMAS STORY, which I love. How about these favorite lines:

“Dadgummit, blob!”

“Ohhhh, fuuuuudge.” Only I didn't say “Fudge.” I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word!


Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.

In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.

I don't ever remember wanting one specific thing so badly that I was obsessed with it like little Ralphie is with that Red Ryder BB gun. Well, maybe a pony. I got one of those when I was six, but I don't remember it being for Christmas. I remember I wanted a black pony; I got a red pony with a blond mane and tail. And she wasn't nearly as cooperative as my imaginary pony, that's for sure!

What was your best gift ever? Did you ever obsess about something like Ralphie does in the movie? If you got it, was it every thing you'd dreamed?

Holiday traditions

Hubby and I don't have children, so we aren't tied to a certain set of holiday traditions. Ours have morphed over the years, that's for sure. But one thing we seem to always need to do is watch Christmas Vacation. I'm not sure how that one evolved, but it's become necessary each holiday season.

So, last night, we popped it into the DVD player and watched it on the big screen. Yes, it's certainly unrealistic in its over-the-top depictions of Christmas craziness. And it's dated with the 80s era clothes and hair (especially on Julia Louis-Dreyfus's character). But I think the movie says something about the holiday experience that's universal.

Don't we all have these huge expectations, like Clark Griswold, that never quite get fulfilled? I know what my friend Mark would say about that, but he's a priest. πŸ™‚ (I still think it's possible to be somehow disappointed with the hype and expectations of the holiday as a regular churchgoer, but that's a different topic.) It's possible to build the seasonal expectations up so much that nothing quite fulfills the vision you may have had for it.

But back to the movie. πŸ™‚ Hubby and I have even incorporated some of the lines into our lexicon. Driving to Florida, for example, we get behind a slow poke and Hubby says, “I'm gonna get around this egg timer.” Then there's the famous, “Eat my road grit, liver lips!”

We even say to each other sometimes, jokingly of course, “Don't piss me off, Art.” And who can see a squirrel without yelling, “Squirrrrreeeellllll!”?

So that's one of our traditions, quite by accident. We watch other movies too, and of course we tend to quote lines from A Christmas Story as well. We don't always get around to that one every year, but this year we will. I want to watch it on Hubby's movie theater screen.

We don't always have a tree (for various reasons), but we do this year. No traditions when it comes to decorating. My mom used to fix hot chocolate and we'd decorate with Christmas music on. Hubby and I listened to an audiobook (his choice) and drank wine (no, the decorations aren't crooked). I don't bake for the holidays, and we don't usually have any parties at our home.

Nope, watching Chevy Chase go overboard seems to be the most enduring tradition we have.

What are some of your traditions? Doesn't have to be television or movies. Do you bake? Sing certain songs or do something special each year? Have a big party?

A first

I got line edits of my book!! I kept calling them copy edits, but realized we don't get copy edits from London — we get line edits. These are a print out of the entire book with all the lines numbered. It's your last chance to make corrections to the text. Some people see copy edits, which is the marked up manuscript. I got confused because I was expecting that.

But no, these are line edits. Contractually, I have two weeks to read them and communicate any changes to my editor. And there is one major, humongous, gigantic, freak-out worthy change that needs to be made: they spelled my name wrong.

For some reason, people see my name and gloss over the Y in Raye. They leave it out. They have also been known to give me an E on the end of Lynn. But there's no E, only a missing Y. *sigh* Perhaps I should have considered more carefully about taking a pen name. I did not because I'd had publicity already, and I wanted to build on it. Maybe it would have been easier anyway.

Too late now. I have already emailed my editor a panicked note telling her about this major, major mistake. I'm not a fan of my name in the first place, but I am not a Rae. No way, no how.

Aside from that, the line edits look pretty neat. I'm diving in today and seeing what's been done. I did peek a little and everything looks normal on the first few pages. Except one of my scene endings has been changed. I'll be thinking about that, I assure you. It's going to be weird reading this book and seeing those little changes here and there. It feels oddly like someone broke into your house and rearranged your furniture. You might like the arrangement, or you might be absolutely horrified. Guess I'll find out as I read. πŸ™‚

As for the holiday, it was great and Florida was much warmer than Alabama is at the moment. Still, I am SO happy to be home. It was a long drive (10 hours each way), but we listened to audiobooks. We finished up Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential and started Eragon — which, surprisingly, is extremely engaging.

How was your holiday? Did you finish your Christmas shopping and/or decorating yet? I thought Hubby and I would decorate yesterday since we were home — but no, he didn't want to do it. With line edits to do, and a deadline getting closer, I'm a bit worried about getting it done. πŸ™