Secret Travel Plans and Upcoming Events Revealed!

Hey everyone,

I’m back in Oregon for Thanksgiving!

*Happy dances*

Normally, I like to keep everyone apprised of my travel plans before I hop on airplanes, but not this time.

Why you ask?

Because I’m here as a Thanksgiving/birthday surprise for my mom.

Although, apparently what she really wants for her birthday is a new trash can. I’m not kidding. And when I pointed out that the last time I checked never is the right year for a birthday trash can, she insisted that she doesn’t want just any old garbage bearing receptacle.

Oh no, she wants an enormous green one that’s up to Ashland code with a lid that actually closes properly.

“Sounds like rubbish to me!”

Still, when I jumped out from behind a white pillar to surprise her at the airport, her expression was priceless. I was pretty amazed myself…that my family managed to keep it a secret.

I may be the only blogger in the family but none of us are particularly good at keeping secrets.

Which is why I will reveal all my plans right now:

I’m going to be in Ashland until November 26th and then my aunt and I will be driving up to Portland. This is the point where an accurate Magic 8 Ball would insist that I should try again later because it cannot predict now.

One of the best parts of my job is the travel flexibility. I can pretty much work wherever I can get a steady supply of coffee and Internet access. So I’m not sure when exactly I will be returning to LA.

To be honest, part of the reason my travel plans are so open right now is because I’ve got a serious case of tunnel vision going on.

I have a week to turn in the (hopefully) last round of edits for Invisible.

“Damn you, evil paragraph! Why must you ruin everything? WHY?!” 

And the only other thing my mom requested for her birthday–besides the trashcan–was a copy of Notable. I thought that I might be able to appease her by printing out the 2/3rds of it which I’ve edited but…she’s finished it already.

And now she keeps not-so subtly dropping hints that she wants to read more.

Today as we walked together to her fabulous quilt store, Sew Creative, she sighed and said, “This weather is great for quilting. Or reading.”

When I merely nodded, her smile widened devilishly.

“Hint hint.”

Yeah…so no pressure there.

I also have a short story for an anthology that needs to be edited (More on that later! I’m so excited for it!) and I’m organizing two panel proposals for the Romance Writers of America conference this year.

And I have a super exciting Decked with Holly project that I’m hoping to reveal on Thanksgiving!

So stay tuned for that explosion of awesomeness.

It’s times like this when I laugh really hard when my siblings suggest that I get a real job.

Okay, so maybe I respond more like this:

But if everything goes according to plan, most of the pressure should be off in a week or two.

And in the meantime, I get to enjoy a family Thanksgiving in my hometown. I get to go for walks and see trees with actual leaves that are actually changing color. I’ve also found time to snuggle with our dog Rascal and to read romance novels in the hot tub.

So despite the time crunch, I’m enjoying the holiday season to the fullest!

Now I better get back to work.

Happy reading, everyone!

~Marni

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I’m Going to AFRICA!

Hey everyone!

It’s official! I’m going to be leaving for Africa on December 13th!

Specifically, I’ll be going on safari in Kenya and Tanzania. I have no idea what to expect. I’ve travelled to some pretty amazing places but I think this will be the winner as far as off the beaten path trips go. I can’t wait.

But that’s what I have to do this week:

Wait.

The wedding isn’t until Saturday but I have a family dinner tonight and the bachelorette party tomorrow. Oh, and apparently there is something happening Sunday night too (although I’m not sure if my presence is required). Then I have three days of babysitting before I fly to Portland!

Most of which will be spent glancing from my laptop screen to my empty suitcase and groaning.

So originally I had planned on being finished with my rough draft of FAUXMANCE before the conference. That way I could sit on panels with Laurie McLean and Grace Ledding and say really cool things like, “oh, yeah, this latest novel came together for me in about three months. No big deal.”

But…yeah, that’s not going to happen. Unless, of course, the whole novel suddenly explodes out of my fingertips and I spend the flight to Portland banging away at my computer watching my page numbers spiral from 170 to 200 to 250 and then, at last, oh yes! 265!

That’s the dream, right?

Still it’s not like I can get kicked off the panel for being unable to meet my own absurd deadlines. No one is going to escort me out, right?

Security Guard: Ahem, Miss? You’re not allowed in here. We read on Twitter that you’ve been watching Burn Notice and White Collar at your grandma’s house instead of writing. And that can of Pringles you’ve been eating did not fuel any amazing scenes the way you claimed it would.

Me: Uh, I’m sorry. I’ll get back to work, officer?

Security Guard: Don’t try that on me! I deal with your kind all the time!

Me: Um…Oregonians?

Security Guard: You procrastinators are all the same! You make great promises and then what happens? NOTHING! It’s all: hey, man, sure I’ll file the paperwork after we interrogate the suspect. But then nobody does! So now payroll is breathing down me neck and you want to know whose fault it is? Procrastinators who muck everything up!

Me: (backs away slowly) I’m sorry! I’ll get back to writing! I didn’t mean to cause any trouble.

Security Guard: Oh, yeah? Well, it’s TOO LATE NOW!

Me:

Actually…I think I’m done with this blog post. Once I create a security guard who enjoys yelling at me that’s generally my cue to get back to work.

Plus, I don’t think I’ve finished off the Pringles. Yet.

More later!

~Marni

Mental Head Slap!

Hey everyone!

So I’ve been working long hours on my upcoming novel FAUXMANCE to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. Except hitting up garage sales. And dog sitting. Still, I’ve been glaring at the kitchen calendar and trying to figure out how many pages I need to write/edit each day to have the book finished by mid-August.

Answer: 12 pages. Every. Single. Day.

Let me put this in college student terms: an essay and a half a day.

So you can see why I thought it might be a good idea to confirm with my rock star editor when the manuscript was officially due. Just in case, I had made some kind of mistake. And boy, had I gotten it wrong.

The novel I’ve been freaking out about? Yeah, it’s not due until DECEMBER!

*Insert celebratory dancing here*

But since I’m a neurotic freak who obsessively sets her own deadlines, I’m going to try to stick to August. Although, I certainly feel better knowing that the extra time is available.

So how did I celebrate?

Well, I caffeinated up and started writing.

Only one glitch…I over-caffeinated. As in, my right eye is twitching, my heart is pounding extra fast and I’m fighting the urge to burst into raucous laughter and then bawl my eyes out. All because I went from my standard tall drink from Starbucks to a grande today.

Never. Again.

The last time I felt this exhausted, it was because I had pulled an all-nighter reading romance novels. When my mom came into my room to tell me Something Important (not that I can remember it now) I could have sworn that she was speaking in another language. Which isn’t very good since English is her only language. I think I should go to sleep now.

Or maybe read Ally Carter’s The Heist Society until I crash.

I’m only 60 pages into it and it’s already one of my favorite reads of the summer. And the sequel is out! I love waiting to start a series when multiple novels are already in circulation. Then I’ll hole up and do full on marathons!

I’m tempted to do a Heist Marathon: I’ll read Heist Society and then watch White Collar.

I’m so hooked on this show. In fact, it’s the reason I keep trying to case museums and find out what’s hot on the black market.

Maybe, I’ll throw in a bit of Leverage too!

Leverage is totally Oceans Eleven meets Robin Hood.

Then I’ll sandwich it with Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter.

I can do that, right? Now that I know my official deadline is in December, it’s okay!

I can already picture my mom reading this and shaking her head in dismay. And since I’m actually on a roll with my writing right now, I’m not sure it’s the time to indulge in my So Great it’s Criminal marathon.

But I highly recommend that other people do it and then rub my nose in how wonderful it was so that I’ll write even faster!

I’m guessing my logic is faulty somewhere in that convoluted mess but the caffeine is telling me that I don’t actually care.

Yeah, it’s definitely time to crash now!

Goodnight, everyone!

More later,

Marni