Thursday, January 26, 2006

Plenty of time left to Vote...

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to vote for FOLLOW YOUR HEART, my historical romance novel that is one of six finalists remaining in Dorchester Publishing/Romantic Times BOOKclub's American Title II contest. The winner receives a publishing contract.

Voting for Best Story Summary continues through February 5 at Or you can send an email to with FOLLOW YOUR HEART in the subject line. If you could forward the info to a few friends, I'd truly appreciate it... every vote counts!

Coming soon: my website! I have selected a designer who will begin working on it next month.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Fabulous news! My historical romance novel, FOLLOW YOUR HEART, has made it to Round 3 of Dorchester Publishing/Romantic Times BOOKclub’s American Title II contest. Six finalists remain. The two receiving the fewest votes for Best Story Summary will be eliminated. The winner receives a publishing contract.

I'm thrilled... FYH received great comments from all 3 judges.

Vote now through Feb. 5 at Click on the American Title II box in the upper right corner.

Please tell your friends! Thank you in advance for your support.

In other news, participated in a wonderful weekend workshop with a casting director and agent. The twelve of us prepared both commercial and TV or film auditions and were critiqued on camera. An interesting mix of people, from a Shaw Festival actress to models plus the intense focus of our teachers made for a busy two days.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Lady of Leisure?

Another Vilnius picture...Trakai, an medieval, reconstructed castle.

There are those who assume because I no longer have a "day job" that I am living a life of leisure.
Yes, one goal of quitting was to make more time for friends. However, I'm operating on a fairly strict schedule:

Up before 7
Read paper
Check E-mail
Workout for 20-mins to 1/2 hour (this morning: hip hop dancing)

These are some of the projects I'm working on:
Finish ms #7: goal of 25 new pages per week
Submit to acting and writing agents: research agents and customize query letter/submission based on each agency’s requirements
Write website content and choose colors/layout/links
Taking an advanced commercial workshop: review and prepare 18 pages of scripts they faxed
Prepare for tomorrow’s audition for an agent
Finish voice over class
Prepare online workshop that starts 1/22 for Hearts Through History Romance Writers

Coming in Feb: rehearsals to sing Beethoven’s 9th at Navy Pier in Sept
Literacy for adults training/tutoring

I am putting in more hours than before. But enjoying the work far more.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Frog in the Well

Do you remember the word problem of the frog in the well? He's trying to climb out, but every time he jumps X feet higher, he slips Y feet if the well is a certain height how long will it take him to get out? This week I feel a bit like that frog.

1) Of the 3 auditions I had recently, two I got myself, one from an agent: didn't get any of the jobs. On the other hand, another talent agent I'd submitted to wants me to come in for an audition. On the other hand, the two new agents I aquired recently haven't called yet with any auditions.

2) Entered my work in progress in it's first writing contest. One judge gave it a near perfect score, the other a good score but not high enough to final.

Of course I don't expect everything I send out to acheive the desired result. Setbacks don't mean give up, they mean work harder. I am thinking serene thoughts, as inspired by this photo I took of the pool at an AZ Marriott resort.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

How to be Gainfully Unemployed

I have been getting many questions about how I fill my days. The real question is: how did I fit in a corporate job?

In addition to a project list divided into sections such as writing, acting, personal, and home projects, I have a weekly writing goal of 25 new pages. This does not count editing, researching, submitting, or entering contests. I also want to increase every month the number of submissions I have at a time, whether to contests, agents, editors, upcoming conference appointments,etc.

Here are some of the projects I've been working on:

1) website. After researching web designers and wasting time thinking I could create the kind I wanted by myself, I finally chose one and am working on content so when she's ready to work on design I'll be ready.
2) I just joined the board of the Chicklit Romance Writers of the World. We had a 2 hour online meeting this week and I have to figure out exactly what my position is and do something.
3) acting auditions: see post below.
4) getting more acting agents and a writing agent
5) finishing my manuscript in progress, which fortunately a couple of industry people are already waiting to see
6) the American Title II contest
7) preparing an online workshop I agreed to do later this month for Hearts Through History Romance Writers
8) judging 7 55 page entries for a contest

Each night I set goals for the next day based on what's already on my schedule. I am a morning person, and the kind of person who can only play when all work is done. This is starting to be a problem, because I have so many projects and enjoy doing them that my work is never done. I'd hoped to take weekends completely off and just play, but today I wrote 7 new pages.
Nonetheless, thanks to my mom I now have TiVo, so I can catch up on my favorite shows at night.

While I miss daily contact with the people I worked with, and clients who after so many years became my friends, I don't miss the work I did.

Fortunately I have a good friend who is also a writer and has other pursuits. We check in with each other once a week to make sure we're staying on track. I schedule at least one social event a week, but usually end up with more. I'm still involved with several Chicago Bar Association groups and have monthly meetings for those plus my local Romance Writer meetings. I'm taking a weekend acting workshop. I've also started exercising six mornings a week.

This is just a taste of how I can be Gainfully Unemployed!


Every so often, I've been checking The Source official website for the promised posting of my journal detailing my Vilnius set visit. It's not there yet.

I just found out that Adrian Paul wants my journal posted on HIS website instead! How cool is that. His site is ; I've been informed my journal should be there soon. As soon as it's up, I'll post the link here.

On the acting front, lots going on! Got a callback for a part in short student thesis film...and have a print ad audition next week. Plus am going to try out for one of my favorite musicals, Urinetown. Had to pick out new songs, they want 16 bars each of contrasting comedic songs. There are two parts I think I could play, but the auditions are Equity too. So many people sing better than I do, but they said comedic acting is also important, so who knows. And in September, the Chicago Bar Assn Symphony is doing Beethoven's 9th at Navy Pier for their 20th anniversary; I'm going to sing in that. Reharsals start in February.