Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I love to flirt. I had an excellent teacher and learned very early in life that the subtleties of flirting could actually move mountains. My 85-year old grandmother was a notorious flirt in her day and after experiencing her in action it didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that such a talent could get a woman far if she were so inclined.

Nowadays, when we see sex and relationships being marketed no differently from milk and cookies, young women have no reason to flirt nor do they even bother with learning the nuances of how. Watch a music video today and one would think all a woman needs to do is throw on a thong and gyrate, or all a man needs is a set of rims on his ride and gold grills in his mouth. Young folks is just puttin' it out there and there is nothing subtle about their game. They're leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination.

Back in my grandmother’s day, women dressed impeccably, carried themselves like royalty and their conduct was typically (to the public eye) beyond reproach. I remembered vividly accompanying my grandmother out to places a five-year-old probably had no business being. I’d be decked out in these very elaborate lace and ruffle dresses, white ankle socks, and black patent leather shoes. And Granny would be rocking everything in silk: designer dresses and stockings (the kind you wore with a garter belt), and her signature furs. Granny loved her furs! I can see her right now, crossing her ankles as we settled down at a table, then pulling off her gloves one finger at a time before tossing them next to her purse. She’d inevitably catch some suitor’s eye and then the games would begin!

When one knows how to flirt, one knows instinctively when, where, with whom, and in what matter to flirt. The rules of flirting follow what some think is a very complex set of unwritten laws of etiquette. But there is nothing complex about it. Common sense should tell you that flirting with the deceased spouse at the funeral or with your best friend’s partner when they’re not around is going to break one or more of those laws.

Flirting is about eye contact, an exchange of admiring glances, then a smile. Smiles serve up energy. They make the smiler and the smilee feel good. Then the initiation of conversation opens many a door. A little light-hearted banter can brighten the day, raise self-esteem, and strengthen social bonds. Flirting can be harmless fun, and only a wet blanket could possibly have any objections.

My grandmother’s laugh would warm a room. It would draw people to her. Her eyes would speak volumes so there was no mistaking when the fun she was having was indeed harmless or if there was something else on her mind. The gesture of her head, her hand movements, the tilt of her body, was a language all its own. But it was universal and an essential aspect of her interactions with people and them with her.

Flirting doesn’t have to be about pickup lines or sexual challenges and conquests. It’s actually more successful when its about an exchange of conversation and humor. It’s a casual, comfortable interaction with another person. Some excel at it more than others, and many a man could teach some women how to take their flirting skills to a higher level. Flirting can do wonders for the human spirit. Many a man walked away from my grandmother thinking he’d actually accomplished something, his fragile ego soaring sky high. It would be the laughter in her eyes that told the truth of the exchange, a wondrous glow that spoke volumes about her being a woman who loved being a woman.

And so I flirt. Do you?

Friday, July 21, 2006


I write. It’s what I do. More importantly, it’s what I love to do. Many would say I do it well. Just as many might disagree. I know that I do the very best that I can and with every new book, I try to do a better job than I did on the story before.

I’m published in the contemporary romance genre. But romance is not the only thing that I write. I did not consider my first book a romance novel. (Neither did hardcore romance fans!) Some clever editing made it so. (Hardcore fans didn't necessarily agree.) Some proponents of more literary writings have been known to malign romance writers and their work. Castigating what one does not know comes easily to some folks. But hey, who am I to throw stones when I once lived in that same glass house myself? I remember well when I would readily dismiss romance novels, thinking them in some way inferior. Some exceptionally talented authors who write romance set me straight with the absolute beauty of their prose. I know now that no matter what the genre, there are GREAT writers, Good writers, and others who probably need to find a new day job.

In writing romance I’ve learned that describing how to plant a tree may have its challenges, but describing the ecstasy of a kiss being planted some place one has never been planted before is a whole other beast. Don’t even get me started about writing about the seductive nuances of sheathing a man in a condom when he’s buck naked and skinny-dipping in a swimming pool. It takes a certain finesse to get that man and his partner protected without losing the ambiance of the moment.

I write about ordinary people, doing ordinary things. They work normal jobs, struggle to pay bills, raise children, the kind of ordinary things we all do on a daily basis. My characters, however, get a happily-ever-after ending. They find love, partners that complement their ordinary existences, something not everyone is blessed to know. I have plenty of stories in me where there are no happy endings but then I wonder who would want to read them? Our real lives have far too many unhappy endings for anyone to want to read about someone else’s trials and tribulations. I like being able to give readers a few feel good moments and a very happy ending in a book.

Romance fans are very critical and exceptionally demanding of their authors. They expect GREAT stories. Not all of us are able to deliver GREAT, but I certainly give it one heck of a try. When I’m only Good my readers don’t hesitate to say so. Fortunately, no one has suggested I find myself a new day job. So, until they do, I’ll just keep writing, because it’s absolutely what I love most to do.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I have a history of driving my family crazy. My parents swear I am personally responsible for every single gray hair atop their two heads. I readily admit that I was a child from hell. Every parent's worse nightmare come true. I was famous for doing things and going places I knew I had no business doing and being. So much so that sometime shortly after my sixteenth birthday my mother tossed up her hands and declared she was too through with me. She announced that she didn’t care what I did as long as I adhered to three rules: Don’t get pregnant, don’t do drugs, and don’t call her from jail. Life was too sweet from that moment on.

I’m not one to follow but so many rules anyway and most who know me well will tell you that I often dance to a different beat. And, that drives my husband right up a wall! He’s very much a traditionalist and far too conservative for his own good. My poor dear didn’t have a clue what he was in for when he married me. Even after discovering that I could be a challenge, the man honestly believed he could reel me in and keep me on a short leash. (Oh, please!)

Years ago we moved from the metropolis of Fairfield County, Connecticut to a very rural, very small country town renowned for its historical contributions to the Civil War. Needless to say I’ve been acting right up ever since. The community is small enough where you can actually get to know most folks by name, as well as their ‘bizness’, if one is so inclined. It’s also one of those OLD Southern communities where some folks still think other folks should know their place and stay in it.

Today, I stepped my very wide, very brown behind into what is lovingly referred to as the “redneck” pool hall. (Their own description, not mine.) My son and I wanted to play pool and we’d discovered, quite accidentally, that this billiards room has some of the best food around. (The cook is an elderly black man, well in his 80’s, who is descended from the slaves that built this area. His storytelling is phenomenal and he has three sons that are drop dead gorgeous. Dem boys put the cute in cute!). But I digress. Anyway, I was welcomed in typical Southern fashion: wide smiles and a gregarious greeting. There were a few rough and tumble biker boys who stared like I might be their next meal but I was quite comfortable and had a great time.

I swear I couldn’t have been there ten minutes before telephones were ringing and by my fifteenth minute my husband knew where I was and everyone I’d spoken to. He’s still ranting and raving about what COULD have happened and how I need to make better choices. (The poor soul has delusions of grandeur, swearing every man walking God's green earth wants his wife. But that's a story for another day.) Now, I would understand if I’d actually danced topless on the bar or something but let’s be real. I played pool. Badly. Ate a great lunch. Just blew my diet all to hell. And reminded some folks that where I belong is wherever I choose to be.

I’ll let him rant until he tires himself out. If he gets on my nerves, there’s no telling where I might go tomorrow or what in the world I might do. And then I’ll remind him that I did follow the rules. I didn’t come home pregnant, or on drugs, nor did I call him from the jail. What more does he want?

See you again soon!

Sunday, July 16, 2006


I was three-years-old when this picture was taken and I was NOT a happy camper. Not only didn’t I want to be where I was (inside the house), but I wanted my pink pants and my white shirt and I wanted to be outside. This picture is the aftermath of that battle, shortly after my mother had popped me in my mouth for saying a bad word. Daddy said it all the time so how was I to know there was something wrong with it. In fact, I recall having said it before and a few of the family members laughing at how “cute” it was. Being cute with Mommy got me a busted lip. Go figure. What I love most about this picture is my attitude. That bad word is just seeping out my eyes. Mommy may have won that battle, but she didn’t stand a rat’s chance in hell of winning the war.

I still have much of that attitude but my battles have changed over the years. In fact, there is a whole different kind of fight inside me now. I challenge myself now instead of challenging others. Blogging is my next challenge and I’m certain it’s going to be an interesting one. I don’t yet have a clue where this will go or even if it will go anywhere at all. But I’m excited about it, anxious to do something new. As a little girl I always kept a diary, one with a pretty floral cover and a gold lock that had its own key. Then I transitioned to journalizing into those bound, black and white composition books. Blogging will take my journalizing to a whole other dimension. It will also challenge me to write, to keep writing, and after a very lengthy spell of writer’s block, it’s a challenge I desperately need.

So, welcome to my blog site. I’m sure it’s going to be one hell of a ride!