State of the Collaboration: Two in One Manuscript

So as you may know, Bob Mayer and I are collaborating on another series. Some people ask, “How do you do that?” (Other people ask, “WHY do you do that?” but I’m ignoring them for now.) Basically we swap the manuscripts back and forth, agreeing on who has the master, the other person often writing scenes off the master that can be inserted later. Then we start the second book, so we have two books going at once, going back to the first book to retcon characters and information. It’s all very organized and we never get confused.

Yeah, okay, I lied. Here’s what happened when we were swapping Rocky Start and Very Nice Funerals back and forth: Continue reading

Happiness is Getting All My Vaccines

I am WAY behind on my medical stuff, but Bob was harassing me (remember the “Book done yet?” e-mails? Now they’re “Got your Covid shot, got your flu shot, got your . . .”) so I looked into the easiest way here and it turns out there’s a CVS in my Target so I could get them all there, one at a time because I learned my lesson about getting more than one at once.. (Lesson: Don’t get more than one at once.) So I am now vaxxed for Covid, flu, and RSV, and I have pneumonia coming up this afternoon. Then I’m it’ll be shingles and TDAP shots and I’m done. I’m so proud. Meanwhile Bob is flat on his back because he doubled up on the flu and the RSV. (Lesson: Don’t get more than one at once.) But I’m grateful to him for harassing me to be healthy, so I am sympathetic. Many “poor babies” in e-mail.

Of course, then he took advantage of my sympathy and tried to name a character Lance Hardman. I said no, but I laughed.

What made you happy this week? (Also, did you get your vaccines?)

This is a Good Book Thursday, October 26, 2023

This week I re-read The Deal because I needed a sure thing. (Hi, Sure Thing.). It’s been that kind of week.

In other news, I’ve decided that I have to go back to organizing this blog since we’re revamping the website (keeping Joelle-from-Moxie’s design because I love it, yes, even the monkey) so I should get this place organized and the first thing I decided to do was create a Good Book Thursday tag and log them all into the Reading category. Do you know how long we’ve been doing GBT? Since 2017. That is a lot of weekly posts to tag and categorize but I am on it. So I’m also reading 30 pages of blog titles. I’ve already retagged and categorized the Argh Authors, so the Reading Category is on its way to being accurate. You can see the impact in the Tag Cloud on the right (scroll down; no, farther than that). Also: Dogs and Cats is up to date for the moment. I was all about making it easier for you to read the blog this week.

Which reminds me, what did you read this week?

Working Wednesday, October 25, 2023

This week I worked on the end of Rocky Start and the beginning of Very Nice Funerals, trying to hit the sweet spot on the Max/Rose romance while keeping the plot escalating. I am grossly behind on Rocky Start and Bob’s patience is wearing thin (it’s been two months since he sent me his completed draft and we all know how I am about finishing things) but I think the stuff we’ve talked about since then is making both books more interesting. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Also this week, I’m reading crochet patterns for a granny square CAL because granny squares are easy and so am I. I particularly liked one of the bags, so I made a small one (fingering weight yarn) that I could hang on the picture over my bed to keep an emergency inhaler in. Because I am a nerd.

What did you work on this week?

State of the Collaboration, October 24, 2023

I’m slowing Bob down on both Rocky Start and Very Nice Funerals because I cannot get a handle on Rose and the Max-and-Rose relationship/romance. This goes back to the differences in the way we write, and also, I think, to the chaos my own life has been in, which is settling down some now and which I plan to have completely calm (about the house and all the external stuff) by Nov. 1. So it’s a plan.

Right now, in VNF, Rose is suddenly the recipient of a lot of proposals since there’s the possibility of big money in her future. And there’s a serial killer. Yeah, it’s a Crusie-Mayer.

This is a Good Book Thursday, October 19, 2023

Yesterday, I wrote the first scene for Very Nice Funerals. Today I lost my Argh Ink login and it took me forever (well, until now) to find it. Also, today, I’m rereading my first scene and reconsidering my plan to make writing my career because it’s terrible. Well, you know, first draft, but still.

Tell me something good you read this week. Quickly, before I lose the damn log-in again. Thank you.

Happiness is Getting Things Done

This week, I did my taxes (there’s a day I’ll never get back), sorted my yarn (some of it), changed the sheets on my bed (that’s a big deal), put together a new litter box for Lionel (who was deeply suspicious but who coped), cleaned out my dresser and filled it with clothes, diagrammed the plot for Rocky Start on three new white boards (do not tell Bob I have three new white boards), had lunch with Pat, did a LOT of laundry, crocheted granny shell shawls for mental health (mine), made cupcakes (sugar-free), brownies (sugar-free), and pudding (sugar-free) because I was in a major chocolate jones and didn’t want to die, got the couch into the living room from the garage (which annoyed Lionel who liked sleeping on the couch cushions when they were on the floor), painted my work table and the mantel I put in the hall and an old side table, and watched a lot of Numbe3rs because it’s better than Xanax. There was some other stuff in there, but mostly, I just got things done because Bob told me to calm down and take a week off from Rocky Start, which I didn’t do because I wanted to work on it, but I stopped feeling guilty about not getting it back to him, so there was that.

The thing I like about all of this is that things are getting done, my home is less chaotic (just less, not done yet), and I’ve lost that sense of terror that I will never be finished. I’ll get there. That makes me happy.

What made you happy this week?

Book Covers: ARGH

We are once again in book cover talks, this time for the Rocky Start series. I love book covers, I love talking about book covers, but actually trying to get across what I want for book covers when I’m not actually sure myself? That’s hell.

So I filled out the questionnaire for the new series, and the designer who did the Liz covers send back two mock-ups, one for Rocky Start and one for Very Nice Funerals, and in a rare moment of synchronicity, Bob, Mollie, and I all agreed they were not good for us. So she asked for more info and possibly some existing book covers that we liked. That seems fair. So I went looking.

When did the entire publishing industry decide that large fonts on busy backgrounds were the only possibility for a cover. I hate those covers. First of all, they’re lazy designs. The first one back at the beginning of time was probably striking, but now they’re all just throwing type on jazzy backgrounds and you can’t tell one from the other and you don’t want to because they’re all ugly.

Alternately, you can do cute flat color cartoons of impossibly thin characters with big eyes that look like children’s books except that kids don’t eye each other like that. I hate those covers, too.

As you can imagine, I’m not fun to work with. Continue reading

Argh Author: Brenda Margriet’s Too Good For Words

Our own Brenda Margriet‘s new book, TOO GOOD FOR WORDS, came out yesterday, so the fifth and final book in the Silverberry Seduction Seasoned Romance Series is now available.

Like all the other books in the series, it can be read as a standalone.

Ride hard or stay home…
A phony friendship between an ex-con biker haunted by his past and a suburban mom with an uncertain future shifts gears with startling consequences. Continue reading