Saturday, March 31, 2007

I programmed my VCR! I mean I pimped my MySpace page!

Yup, I did it. I finally got a semi-interesting page at My Space. It still isn't quite there yet, but I'm still learning. I feel a little less old and a tiny bit more hip. The nice part is that it wasn't quite as tough as I thought it would be.

DRUM ROLL.. My page? http://www.myspace.com/francescahawley.


So now everyone....

allow me to turn a noun into a verb...



Friend me!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I feel like my mother trying to learn to program the VCR!

Why do I feel like my mom? Because I finally bit the bullet and joined MySpace.com. I'm not going to tell you my page yet, because frankly it looks awful. Why? Cause I can't figure out how to program my VCR! I mean my MySpace page. :sigh:

It's at times like this I feel old. You know, you'd think there would be some link on the page indicating how to customize the site, but no. Not at all. Fortunately for me, I have a friend with whom I work who explained the concept of "Pimp my Profile." I have not yet had time to pimp my profile. Once I do, I'll tell you where to find my page.

I end up feeling like I should snag one of the teens from our library Teen Advisory Board for a class about navigating through this mystical land called "MySpace." What is so mesmerizing about it? I don't know, but it is addictive, and even a bit scary.

You go to someone's page. Then you can click on their friend...then their friend's friend.... You know, eventually I expect to find Kevin Bacon this way. No, really. I think you could play Six degrees of Kevin Bacon and FIND him! I think that's why everyone finds the site so addicting.

It used to be verbs were things like walk, talk, sing...

Now we say - "Oh yeah, I'll google you." Or "I googled him but he wasn't so hot."

Now that I've joined MySpace, I actually said to someone
"Hey, friend me!"

When did friend become a verb?

You know what's bad? I can't program my MySpace page - just like mom. But the worst part? I have heard myself say, "Jeez, these kids today...." Oh the horror... The humanity.... I sound like my DAD! Shoot me now!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Author, Kim Louise gets to the heart of the matter!

Author, Kim Louise spoke at my chapter meeting on Saturday and she was just Super!!! She spoke to us about taking time and making time for your writing. It was so motivational, because I've been feeling a little challenged about taking and making time for my writing.

I think all authors feel that way at times. We put our spouse, our kids, our parents, our friends, our pets, etc.... first in our lives. We say, "I'll write when X happens", or "When X is done, then I'll write." I know I have. Kim's talk was such a wake-up call. It's not about being selfish, it's about making yourself and your writing a priority.

Boy did that one hit home for me. I've begun to do that. Instead of spending my tax money on clothes, or a computer or something I bought my plane ticket to Dallas and paid for my conference fees so I can attend the RWA national conference. I've made my writing a priority in my life. Even so, there are so many things that pull at me sometimes I get sidetracked. Hearing Kim speak came to me at just the right time.

Thanks Kim for your words of encouragement, they were timely and helpful. Thanks also go to the Program committee of the Iowa Romance Novelist's chapter of RWA. It was a great program. You guys rock!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Unexpected Inspiration!

Hi all,
I was reading Romancing the Blog today. There was a wonderful post from Rosario Ottati about pushing the envelope with our writing. It was a super post. Now I am addicted to Romancing the Blog anyway. There is almost always something there to make me think about my writing. Check it out, I highly recommend it. So after I read Rosario's post, I went to comments as I usually do. Partway down one of the commenters made a great comment about prefering femdom to male dom stories in BDSM. All the comments were interesting, but that one comment literally smacked me in the head.

What was so profound about this? Well, I have a story I'm working on.... Like you didn't already know that... Anyway... My hero is a homicide detective working a serial homicide case. I intended him to be a dominant male. I even NAMED him Dom, as if making him an alpha wolf in a very kick ass profession isn't alpha enough. My problem was the heroine was REALLY sassy for a submissive. Also, I didn't have a clue why my killer was killing subs. After reading this comment from Romancing the Blog, I KNEW I had my story wrong - 180 degrees wrong! The heroine should be the Domme and the hero should be the sub. It fixed everything. I have had trouble thinking about almost anything else all day!

I love it when flashes of insight hit you like that. It's exciting! I had been so unexcited about that particular story for SO long, but suddenly I've got new energy. I have a reason to edit and a reason to add. Thanks Rosario and BarbaraB for helping me through a rough patch. Time to go write....

Thursday, March 15, 2007

St. Patrick's Day is coming!


Hi All,

I'm not Irish, but at this time of year I love all things Irish. On Saturday, I'll be curling up with The Quiet Man on the DVD. Why do I love this movie? Well, it is a wonderful romantic comedy first of all. The main characters are likable and believable. The hero has a dark secret (this is not a HTSTL moment though). Sean doesn't discuss his secret with Mary Kate because it's painful, not because he wants to protect her or because he doesn't think she'd understand. The tension is maintained throughout the story and the secondary characters are full-bodied without taking over the story.

In short, this is exactly what I aspire to do as a romance writer. The writers, John Ford's direction, and the wonderful characterizations by all the actors are inspirational to me because they knit a tight story that draws the viewer along.

Now, I must admit, Barry Fitzgerald (as Michaleen Oge Flynn) does steal every single scene he appears in - leprechauns tend to do that to mere mortals. But overall, every single character has a reason to be there and carries his or her part of the story.

Just a note... I will never know why Barry didn't win an Oscar for his portrayal of Michaleen! He's truly brilliant here and he just MAKES the picture. I mean, when he goes into the bedroom, sees the broken bed, shakes his head, and mutters "Impetuous." Is there anything funnier? All it takes is that ONE word and it speaks volumes! You go, Barry!

What else do I like to do on Saint Patrick's Day? If I was more flush in the pocket, I'd be going to hear my favorite band play for their annual St. Pat's concert.

Who is my favorite band, you ask?
The Irish Rovers?
The Chieftains?
No. they are both great, but I'm unlikely to be able to get to one of their live concerts.
My favorite band is...
Who? Well that handsome group of guys right there! Yeah, up there... Nept is a local band based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and they play cool Celtic music (traditional and original). I have been a Wylde Nept fan for about 10 years (now that is scary)! The guys have released four CDs and have a cool MySpace site! Why am I talking about them here? Well, other than their cool Celtic music, I've been inspired with story ideas by two of the songs from their most recent CD called All's Fair. I was listening to Wes sing at a concert late last year, and bam! Story ideas burst into my brain. (Wes is the guy sitting on the ground in the above pic.) I'll let you know if I ever get either story completed, but they are bubbling like a good Guinness in the cask biding its time. Thanks guys! Love ya!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Magnificent Shoe Obsession

Okay, I admit it. I was one of those women who SO didn't get the chick lit shoe obsession. Nor did I understand why Carrie (of Sex in the City) made orgasmic noises when she found shoes she loved. It made no sense. High heel shoes hurt. I would much rather wear a good pair of walking shoes, thanks.


No more. I've discovered...the Magnicent Shoe Obsession!



Are these not the sexiest, coolest shoes you have EVER seen in your life? Yes girls, I took photos of my new purchases. I took pictures like they were my children or my cats. How bizarre is that? But now, I understand...


Let me go back to the beginning. A friend of mine was having a garage sale which ran on Friday and Saturday. I thought I would be supportive and wander over to see what was left near the end of the sale today. Now, my friend, Deana, formerly designed shoes for dancers. Yes, these are her designs. They were part of the garage sale. I couldn't believe it. I looked at the other stuff (much of it quite cool - cause she is a quite cool person), but I kept hovering near the shoes. Now I am not a petite female and sexy shoes rarely fit me. So while I drooled, I figured there was no way these would work. Well, Deana helped me find some she thought would work, told me to sit down, and try them on. I did.


THEY FIT!


Two pair of the hottest 5 inch stilletto heels fit my feet - and damn... they felt GOOD! I couldn't believe it. You know the best part? They were $5 a pair. Yes. Not only did I get hot shoes, but they were a BARGAIN! Two for two!


My friend then gave me a clear, concise explanation of how to WALK in these shoes. I never knew there were instructions for this, but it makes sense. I took my babies home, and decided I wanted to see them the way they were supposed to look. When I tried them on I was wearing white, cotton socks. White cotton socks just aren't sexy. I put on a pair of knee high nylons (hey I wanted to try them on not go out on the town tonight). Then I toddled over to a mirror to take a peek.


My feet looked sexy. Oh mi gahd!

I own my very first pairs of "F**k Me!" stillettos.

Wooo Hoooo!!!

I'm no longer a shoe virgin...


Somehow I don't think these are going to fly in the library. I really can't see me strutting from the reference desk down to nonfiction in these babies, but wouldn't it be fun if I could! I'll just have to look for someplace to wear them. Or maybe someone to wear them for! Yeah, that's the ticket.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

March came in like a lion!!!


The bad news? Well, we got the blizzard they were predicting. Interstate 80 was closed from like Omaha to Davenport on Thursday night into Friday morning (BTW, that's across the entire state of Iowa, kids). The good news? I didn't lose my power! After last week, I was thrilled out of my tiny mind about that! Believe me!!


The library closed early Thursday night so I went across the street to buy some groceries before I went home. It wasn't too bad at 6 p.m. By the time I was done at the store about half an hour later, the wind was blowing horizontally. I kid you not!


I was SO happy I wasn't scheduled to work on Friday. I would have been, but this was my weekend to work. The roads and such were much better by the time I had to emerge from hibernation to work on Saturday. I work this afternoon from 1-4 pm, then I'll go home and crash. Sleeping sounds pretty darn good right now.