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I write novels for teens and adults. Visit me here & on my website http://www.jenniferarcher.net

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Capital Murder

William Bernhardt, whose latest release is CAPITOL MURDER, was the keynote speaker at the Frontiers In Writing conference weekend before last.( www.williambernhardt.com)
His talk about the importance of books was both funny and moving. I would've sworn no one could possibly recite Hamlet's "To Be Or Not To Be" speech in under sixty seconds, but this man did it! He also talked of once being a young boy with a speech impediment that made talking such a struggle, he pretty much stopped saying anything, turning to the library and books, instead. It occurred to me that most writers I know had some childhood trauma -- sometimes minor, sometimes major -- that drew them to books and a passion for stories. Moving around a lot did that for me, leaving old friends and having to make new ones, adjusting to a new place, a new school, new classmates and teachers.

Speaking of stories, my author copies of OFF HER ROCKER arrived in the mail today! It looks great! Flipping through it, re-reading passages, reminded me of the fun I had writing this book once I found the golden thread that tied all the pieces together. Her name is Mrs. Needlemeyer and once she came to life, everything fit. I have one of my critique partners, Dee Burks, http://deeburks.blogspot.com/, to thank for that. When I couldn't figure out what was missing, she said, "Every little town needs a cranky old lady poking at everybody." Or something like that. And she was right! Actually, I don't know how I'd ever manage to write a book without ANY of my critique partners. Like the fictional Mrs. Needlemeyer, they are all golden threads -- they help me tie the pieces together. Unlike her, they aren't old and cranky and they don't poke at me, they're gentle!

See OFF HER ROCKER under "Coming Soon" at www.jenniferarcher.net or
at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0373881037/sr=1-6/qid=1150834998/ref=sr_1_6/104-8560021-9751120?%5Fencoding=UTF8&s=books

This is already a crazy week. We have an outside remodel going on at my house and workmen are everywhere! The house is looking good, though! Also, I'm planning for a special weekend. Six of my college girlfriends, some of whom I haven't seen in many years, are coming in and staying at my house Friday and Saturday. We're having a girlfriend reunion! We have a lot of catching up to do and plenty of memories to relive! (Some of them should probably not have been lived the first time around, much less RE-lived!) :-)

Happy Tuesday,



Saturday, June 17, 2006

Frontiers In Writing

The weeks are rushing by and I'm having to run full speed to keep up! I'm a member of my local writing organization, PPW (Panhandle Professional Writers, http://www.panhandleprowriter.org/ )and last weekend we had our yearly Frontiers in Writing conference. Three cheers for Molly McKnight, our conference chairperson, as well as everyone else who worked to make the conference such a huge success. What a fantastic lineup of speakers we had! I'll be posting about them in the days ahead. First, there's Deborah LeBlanc who writes psychological suspense for Leisure Books. Deborah is not only a genuinely nice person, she's an interesting woman who doesn't shy away from researching her books, no matter the topic. In the name of research, she's been locked into a coffin for fifteen minutes and spent time alone in a dark, padded cell in an abandoned insane asylum! Check out her website and books sometime! www.deborahleblanc.com. I've also posted the cover to her latest release, A House Divided.

I was extremely honored and surprised when, during the annual conference awards ceremony, I was named PPW's Writer Of The Year for 2006! They gave me an absolutely beautiful engraved statue that now sits on the shelf above my computer. Each time I'm stumped, staring at a blank computer screen and a blinking cursor, I can look up at that statue and remind myself, "Hey, get your act together! You're writer of the year!" Seriously, the award is given to a member who has had a lot of positive things happen in their writing career over the past year. That's certainly been the case for me, I admit! I'm a lucky writer! Plus, I worked like a madwoman. (I was going to say I worked my butt off but, alas,it's still there).

Have a great weekend,


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Things I Wish I Could Do Or At Least Do Better

1) Cook (Someone asked my youngest son what food from home he missed most now that he's at college, and his answer was "Wienerschnitsel.")
2)Organize a kitchen and prepare a meal for company (My oh-so-domestic hostess-with-the-mostest friend Michelle and her daughter McKenzie from Durango spent the night recently on their way through town going to Oklahoma City. At dinner I had to dig through 3 drawers before finding salad tongs. At breakfast, I burned the bagels and almost set off the smoke alarm. 7-year old McKenzie asked me, "Why are you hurrying so fast?" Because cooking for other people, even bagels, turns me into a blabbering bundle of nerves, McKenzie.)
3) Drive and talk at the same time. (Once my friend Candy and I were driving to a nearby town for our friend Donna's wedding. I was behind the wheel. We had a non-stop conversation, wound up thirty miles off-course in the wrong town and made it to the wedding in time for the reception. Another time, my friend Kimberly and I were headed home to Amarillo, Texas after attending a conference in Colorado Springs. Again, I was behind the wheel and the conversation was endless. We missed the cut-off at Raton, N.M. and didn't even realize it until I saw a sign for Santa Fe almost an hour later.)
4)Parallel park. (This is the one requirement I flunked on my driver's test.)
5) Sew. (In junior high, my home economics teacher assigned special homework for me: "Sit in front of the television with a needle and thread and a small piece of material. Practice pushing the needle into the material through the top, and pulling it out through the bottom.)

There are many more, but it's too depressing to list them all at once! Good news! The Universe finally heard my plan and set it into motion (see blog post below). Six days late, but, hey... I'm sure I'm not the only one out there making plans. Even the Universe can only handle so much at once. I accepted an offer to write three more books for NeXt yesterday! The title of the first one is What She Never Expected. Of course, that's subject to change. Sandwiched was originally called A Change Of Seasons! Not sure of the other two, yet. Or the release dates. Anyway...I'm happy to be a contracted writer again!

Happy Wednesday,


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Hey, You? Universe? Didn't I Make Myself Clear?

On the recommendation of a friend, I recently rented a documentary/movie called "What The Bleep Do We Know?" It deals with quantum physics in a way that even my science-retarded mind can grasp. The whole thing is uniquely presented -- a fictional story plays out that is interwoven with short interviews of scientists and a mystic guru or two. My "beware of flake" warning bell clanged a time or two during some of the mystic dialogue but, determined to keep an open mind, I turned the bell off and listened. (Truth is, I have a bit of mystic flake in me. In my constant quest to "fit-in," I locked her away in my inner basement a long, long time ago as a kid when I discovered her musings were not socially acceptable to the mainstream. That's when I also acquired the warning bell to let me know when my own flake and others were creeping up on me!) One concept presented in the documentary is the possibility that we can affect our futures by our thoughts. So for weeks now, I've been sending the message out there to the Universe...daily...several times a day...okay, every hour on the hour (not really), that I would have a brand new contract to write another book by June 1 -- a story that intrigues me that's been knocking around in my head a while now. Well, here it is June 3 and, guess what? No contract. Not even an offer yet, though I've had hints one is coming "soon." Since I work with words every day, you'd think I made myself clear to the Universe. June 1. I know I said that! But maybe the request was interpreted as "sometime around the first of June," or possibly, "the first full week in June," or even, "the first full moon in June." It's easy to say things in a way that's misunderstood. It's easy to misinterpret. Who knows? Maybe even the Universe has problems with this.

Just yesterday my cosmetologist was microdermabrasing my face. (Yes, I'm still paying good money to be tortured in the name of vanity!) She told me that after returning home from a trip with her husband, she had found her razor in her 19 year old son's bathroom. Fearing he'd had his girlfriend over for the night while they were away, she confronted him. He blushed and told her not to worry, he'd used the razor to shave his legs. Apparently "girls like that," these days. From that conversation we segued into one about my book, My Perfectly Imperfect Life, which she told me she just began reading on another trip. "Did your son go with you on this trip?" I asked. "No," she answered. "He had to work. " A pause then, "Now, if I can just figure out why that black bra was in his pocket..." I burst out laughing. I thought she was talking about her son, and that she was the most naive mother of a 19 year old male on earth! Then it hit me she had switched topics midstream and that she referred to the big black bra discovered by Dinah in her husband Stan's pocket in My Perfectly Imperfect Life!

Haven't reported in on the reading front lately. Mary Alice Monroe's Sweetgrass was a lushly written story about family with a gorgeous southern setting that puts the reader "there." Currently I'm reading an unpublished novel written by a twenty-two year old young man--a friend and classmate of my son's. This is the first novel he's ever written and I predict a bright future ahead for him as a writer! It's wonderful to see fresh new talent, to hear a unique new voice, and interesting to see how a young man's thought processes work. (Sometimes a bit
unsettling, too, since I have two sons!)

Must go work on revising the YA, then I'm off to look for shoes for a wedding!

Happy Reading!