Thursday, January 31, 2013


If you are a writer and your body fluids aren't comprised of at least 70% coffee, you are a better woman than I.

Coffee isn't the only thing I drink - I like tea too, and I do occasionally have an energy drink - but it's what I have most often. My family is European, so drinking coffee is just a part of our daily lives. We drink it in the morning, during the day, and at night.

Sometimes I'll hear people saying that too much caffeine is bad for your heart, but then I see things like this:

I can only assume that I am going to live forever

Let's be honest, though, my desperate craving has nothing to do with supposed health benefits. This picture from says it best:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Music and no lyrics

I really like listening to instrumental music while I write. But unlike my friends, I don't tend to listen to many soundtracks. Remembering the scenes from the movie gets distracting for me.

Today I thought I'd rec a few of my favorite lyricless songs. One is dubstep. I know, I know.

Klaypex - Hit Me:

Hammock - Will You Ever Love Yourself:

Candlepark Stars - Bend But Not Break:

What instrumental music do you like?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees

The weather is warmer here today, and it almost feels like spring. It reminds me of this incredible (and incredibly sexy) poem by Pablo Neruda called Every Day You Play:

Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water.
You are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a cluster of fruit, every day, between my hands.
You are like nobody since I love you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.
Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish.
Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them.
The rain takes off her clothes.
The birds go by, fleeing.
The wind. The wind.
I can contend only against the power of men.
The storm whirls dark leaves
and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky.
You are here. Oh, you do not run away.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Cling to me as though you were frightened.
Even so, at one time a strange shadow ran through your eyes.
Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and even your breasts smell of it.
While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth.
How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the gray light unwind in turning fans.
My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
I go so far as to think that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells,
dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
I want
to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Free Books! And an anniversary to be celebrated

The original female-written romance novel (if we're not counting The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki) has been available for 200 years today. Jane Austen has quite the legacy - it's hard to think of another work of fiction that has so firmly and widely popularized a place in our minds. Regencies are still hugely popular, largely thanks to Jane Austen.

She sounds pretty awesome, by the way. Did you know she once accepted an engagement to her best friend's brother and then changed her mind the next morning? Lady got guts.

Lots of people know that P&P is available for free, but did you know that Northanger Abbey, Emma, Love & Friendship, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park are also available for free?

Happy reading!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hansel & Gretel: Love in the time of action

I saw Hansel & Gretel today, and really enjoyed it. Both leads were thoroughly likable and refused to adhere to dumb, outdated Hollywood stereotypes. This is a movie that understands you can be a woman and be a badass. You can have flaws and be a badass. You can have a serious metabolic disease and be a badass.

Hell yeah!

But as a romance writer, I fixated a little on the sole love story in the movie between Renner's character and a lovely village lady. Be ye warned, SPOILERS AHEAD:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Quiet Moment by Quiet Moment

This weekend I've been on a mini-vacation. Fun location, lots of adrenaline, and the wifi is only available at night. I've even left my phone behind during the day.

I absolutely love the internet. I love that I can talk to my friends all over the world. I love that I can look up information in a matter of seconds. I love that it's literally impossible to get bored.

But I'm not going to lie... Being without it was freeing. I got halfway through a book that I've been meaning to read for a long time, and loved it.

Definitely have to recommend Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Why do I find this man so attractive?!

He looks like the guy you almost bump into walking across the parking lot. You both nod in apology but barely glance up from your phones. Out of the corner of your eye you catch a hint of the character of his face, and spin around, but he's already walking away.

A lesser-known romantic poet

Or perhaps you've all heard of her and I'm not quite the hipster that I thought.

Ono no Komachi was a waka poet in Japan circa 850 AD. Waka is a bit complicated to explain, especially since there are multiple forms of it, but essentially they are short poems with unique constraints, like a sonnet.

It's pretty amazing that Komachi is considered one of the six great waka poets of all time, taking into account how few women could even read or write back then. Her complex love poetry is filled with passion and longing, and resonates just as clearly today as it must have when she wrote it.

Here's one of my favorite poems by her:

Was I lost in thoughts of love
When I closed my eyes? He
Appeared, and
Had I known it for a dream
I would not have awakened.