Scribbles and thoughts ...

These are ramblings from J L Wilson, published author of romantic suspense, mystery, and paranormal -time travel fiction....

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A good review!

And a national one!

I'm on Barb Vey's blog -- she posts for Publisher's Weekly. Getting this kind of promo is great!

I hope this link works for you -- if not, trust me -- it was a good review and right on the money!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dinner with friends

I hosted a dinner last night for 6 of my oldest friends here in town. We got together for about 2 hours of talking, getting caught up on lives, etc. I was struck by how diverse we are: two are lesbians, two are single, one is married with children, one is married without. We grew up in different environments (farm, small town, and city) and we have very different lifestyles now.

We're all similar in age (within 10 years of each other) and all work in high tech and we all have outside interests that keep us busy.

I used to get together with them once a week. Then it changed to every other week. Now we're lucky if we can get together once a month. I've known these folks for almost 20 years and we still remain friends. We are drifting apart, though -- my writing career occupies a lot of my energy and I can't devote my time to socializing as much as I used to. Others are busy, too, so it's not just me.

It's a bittersweet feeling to see your life change like this. Bitter because I'd like to remain as close to them as I always have been. But sweet because we are still close -- we do still get together and I know, if needed, I could call on them for anything.

I suppose it's all a part of life, and change ...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The benefits of being older

A friend of mine was blogging recently about how her parents don't understand her work. She writes romance, and has a couple of steamy scenes in her books. Her parents, who are Very Christian, are offended.

She's worried about this. My response was, "Hey. It's your life. Tell them you love them, you respect them, but they're wrong."

She's twenty years younger and me and uncomfortable doing that. I realized that is one benefit of getting older: you realize that you can make statements like that and the world will still spin and life will go on. It just ain't that important. I think I've learned that some fights you enter and some you just walk away from. And that's one I'd walk away from.

Hindsight -- it's always 20/20, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

a convergence of thanks ...

It seems like, in the last month, I've been shaking my head and saying, "Man, am I lucky or what?"

A friend's husband died suddenly. He found out one week he had cancer and two weeks later he died. He was 52 years old.

My uncle died. He was in good physical health but he had Alzheimer's and he was starting to drift away from us all. He was hospitalized one week and died the next.

I was in Iowa for the funeral and a week later they had catastrophic floods -- and this is catastrophic for everyone, because Iowa feeds the world. We're all going to feel the pinch because of this for years to come.

I was on a group outing yesterday and we went to the Arboretum. One of my co-workers and I climbed, walked, examined, and moved around for at least an hour before taking the trolley ride around the grounds. Another co-worker is very obese and can't move well, and she had to wait for us in the main building while the rest of us explored. Man, am I thankful to have my health.

Perhaps diasters/calamities like this are meant to make us stop and take an account of where we are. I'm relatively healthy, my home is intact, my food source is safe, I have clean water, my loved ones are safe, and I have a good job. I am not going to bitch about my husband's eccentricities, gas prices, food prices, or property taxes: I've GOT my husband safe with me, I've GOT a house, I've GOT clean food, and I've GOT a car.

So many don't.

It's good to keep that in mind ....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

How a writer's mind works ....

There's a natural disaster in my home town (major flooding), which I've been following closely on the news. In addition to my natural shock and dismay at seeing familiar landmarks be innundated with water, I'm also making notes.

That's what writers do, you know? We see something and thing, "Hmm. I can use that in a book." We're not trying to be cold-hearted or anything -- we see the human side to the disaster and we empathize. But we also recognize interesting data for our stories, and want to capture it while we can.

This whole Midwest flooding event has given me great ideas for my Big Book (the one I plan to write when I get all these other books out of my head). All those things I had a hard time imagining? They're happening right now. All I need to do is take notes, stretch my imagination a tiny bit more, and I'll have some great plot points.

So I guess that does answer that old question. Does life imitate art, or does art imitate life?

In my case, art will definitely imitate life....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The best laid plans ....

Well, I was supposed to have a dinner tomorrow night, but I'm not sure if we'll be gathering or not. Big weather is slated to come in, and I don't want folks driving on the roads-under-construction when we're having a flash flood watch.

This is something of a metaphor for my writing, too. I was buzzing along on my WIP when I took a minor detour into another book (brainstorming a new plot). I worked on that for a while now I'm back to my WIP. It's odd, but taking that detour came at exactly the right time because I feel re-energized on my WIP and have a good sense of where it's going, plot-wise.

Now if I could just figure out my dinner plans ...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

New books are a lot of effort

You think writing the book is work? Try promoting it! I've got to get out on the loops, post excerpts, chat with people, update my web site, update my blog (here), update my other blogs (MySpace, LiveSpace, BookPlace, CrimeSpace) ....

The list goes on. You'll note that the picture of my book has goofy colors. I'm not sure why. I've tried loading it twice, and both times it was goofy. I'll try tomorrow since Blogger is goofy today.

So I'm back in the swing of promotion. I've got a short window of opportunity for concentration on this one because I have another book coming out in July. So I want to hit the loops now with this one then hit the loops with the other one in mid-July.

I'll try to upload a new picture tomorrow, when Blogger isn't burping. If you want to see the real cover, go to

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Still a dilemma ... somewhat

I saw one baby raccoon yesterday when I got home. He/she stumbled out of the woods, saw me, made that 'bleat' noise and beat a retreat. A wobbly retreat, but a retreat. The cat food I put out was gone -- did Baby eat it or not? Not sure.

I called the Wildlife Rehab center and they confirmed what I suspected: DO NOT HANDLE RACCOONS. Many of them carry a ringworm that's fatal to many animals and humans. It's in their poop and since coons aren't the tidiest of creatures, who knows where the poop is? Since the critter is still alive, there's a good chance it's been weaned but probably too soon (that is, Mom either abandoned it or got hurt and can't care for it). The Wildlife people and no humane society will come out to capture it. The DNR will come out to shoot it if it's obviously ill.

So I've compromised: I'll put a can of food out when the food disappears. I'll leave my shoes outside, use disposable gloves to touch any dishes, and generally fence off the area so the critter won't stray. If it lives, well, so be it. If not, well so be it.

In a perfect world, I could grab the baby, take care of it, and release it (sort of a Free Willy scenario). But I'm worried about disease, my pets, and my health. I'm willing to give Father Darwin a push, but not a shove, I guess.