Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Denise Rossetti Swings by the Lair

Christine Wells writes: Denise Rossetti may not own bucket boots but she has a killer pair of red CFM heels--you can see them on her website. This Australian author of erotic romance and sizzling fantasy romance has written two novels and two novellas for Ellora's Cave and has just scored an impressive 4 book deal with Berkley for her scorching fantasy romance series.

Her latest release is her novella, Coming on Strong, in an Avon Red anthology called A Red Hot New Year. Denise also happens to be my critique partner and an all-round wonderful woman. So please welcome her with a hearty Bandita cheer!

A Red Hot New Year, out November 27 from Avon Red
4.5 Stars from Romantic Times

This New Year's Eve, turn up the heat . . .
At the stroke of midnight a new year begins—a time for passionate resolutions and brand-new pleasures; a time to let go of past restraints and embrace new sensual boundaries. Four masterful writers offer a quartet of boldly erotic tales guaranteed to heat up those winter nights.

Coming on Strong by Denise Rossetti
Sam Jones's laid-back charm and Aussie drawl have never failed him - until he meets Gina McBride. The little Yank has to be the most skittish woman he's ever met, and the most intriguing. Making love with her is an experience that makes Sam's eyes roll back in his head, but she won't do it with the light on. Then there's that sexy little growl in the back of her throat when she comes, and she's so strong…

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Visit Denise’s website to win an ARC of A Red Hot New Year! Contest closes 30th November.
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Finding Your Own True North by Denise Rossetti

I’m absolutely fascinated by the creative process – the way it’s so different for each of us, the utter joy and satisfaction it can bring. For me, writing is the most creative thing I do. I can knit very well indeed, sew a little, even garden, but that’s it. And in these areas, I’m a craftsperson, not an original artist.

But writing? Ah, that’s something wonderfully organic. The stories well up from somewhere inside me, no planning, no outlines with dot points. Mind you, it’s never easy – never! Dorothy Parker said, “I hate writing, but I love having written.” I don’t hate it, not at all, but heavens it’s difficult! I have to dig deep for every word. Plod, plod, plod, word after word, sentence after sentence, until The End. And I purely adore having written!

A few weeks ago, I was a tutor in an online workshop for Romance Writers of Australia. Romance 101 Bootcamp. There were other authors lending their considerable skills to character development, pacing, conflict. I was asked to do a session about the Writer’s Life. We talked about the Writer’s Compass and its four Points – Priorities, Personalities, Place and Space, and Permissions.

The participants impressed me with their clear-eyed courage as they did the soul-searching required to examine the place of creativity in their lives, each one looking for her own True North. And then I was awed all over again as they formed resolutions, declared them and followed up a week later by reporting on the changes they’d made. They were inspirational.

BTW, I warned them I’d probably come over like a Bossy Big Sister, or a noisy little cattle dog, nipping at their heels. The metaphors are a trifle mixed, but you get the idea, I’m sure! So here we go…

If you’re honest and brave, you can assess the PRIORITIES in your life relative to each other – family, work, finances, health, spirituality, community – and then add in your creative pursuit, whatever it may be. It’s that thing you do for yourself alone, the thing that gives you the gift of joy. Music, Art, Craft, Writing, Dance, Acting, Gardening. Whatever.

You will know too, how the PERSONALITIES around you usually react. Some will be indifferent, others will support you magnificently in your quest for creativity, and some – well, they won’t. Or can’t.

But what many women find difficult, I think, is giving themselves the PERMISSIONS they need. Permission to do what, you may ask? Ah well, you’re the only one who knows the answer to that.

Permission to sit quietly, all alone, staring into space? Permission not to be perfect, to hit an off-note on the piano, to write a sloppy draft? Permission to buy takeout for dinner? Permission to let someone else comfort a crying child? That’s a hard one, isn’t it?

All too often, sheer desperation compels us to carve out our own time and space, but without giving ourselves real Permission to do so. The result?

Guilt. Or exhaustion, because you’ve had to steal your “me-time” from sleep.

I’m a terrible mother/wife/partner/colleague. I’m so selfish. What about dinner/ballet practice/career/laundry? They’ll never understand. I wish I hadn’t… Sound familiar? Are you already saying to yourself, yeah sure, giving myself Permission sounds good, but I can’t because… Fill in the dots.

What makes your Priorities and Permissions worth less than anyone else’s?

It was years ago that I first read Virginia’s Woolf’s A Room of Her Own, and it made a tremendous impression on me. Such irony and intelligence, so exquisitely written. Back in 1928, Woolf pointed out that in order to write, a woman must have five hundred a year and a room of her own. I don’t think too much has changed, do you? (You can get it here for free - It’s short. Read it.)

Yes, financial independence is easier to come by, it’s even expected of women these days, but that room of one’s own… This is what I’ve called PLACE AND SPACE, because physical place and psychological/emotional space are intertwined. Of the two, mind-space is the most vital, because not everyone has the luxury of a study to themselves. I don’t. I share with two people I love beyond measure – my husband and my daughter – but it bothered me so much that I finally bought an office divider from a second hand store and set up my own space behind it. As a side benefit, I no longer have that prickly, vulnerable sensation in the nape of my neck as I sit with my back to the door. You can see my Place and Space here. You can also see that tidiness is not something I value. *smile*

Paige Cuccaro runs a wonderful site called The Cave - with photos of writers’ Places and Spaces. It runs from Susan Elizabeth Phillips to Laurell K. Hamilton to Lisa Kleypas to Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer. Fascinating and revealing all at once!

So, think about the Writer’s Compass and its four Points. I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially on Permissions and on Place and Space. And please, you don’t have to be a writer to join in!
What have you given yourself Permission to do that has pointed you at your personal True North, given you the joy and the frustrations of the creative process ? How have you set up your Place and Space? Alternatively, what have you found most difficult and what is your solution?

Three lucky readers who comment will win signed over-sized postcards of my Ellora's Cave covers. And don't forget the contest to win a signed ARC of A Red Hot New Year on my website!

And in the interests of Full Disclosure, I should tell you that my children are old enough to be independent, My Beloved does the shopping and the cooking and we have a cleaning lady. But I do have a day job and I’m still Officer In Charge of the cat’s litter box.

72 comments:

Rachel said...

Denise,

That's such a great concept - and I really like it when good concepts are put into a visual structure like your compass. Makes it much easier for me to digest :).

Thanks!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, I thought I was a shoo-in for the Golden Rooster today and that Rachel who only lives up the road stole it! What gives, RR??!!! And you can give me the rooster once you've told me what gives! Sheesh!

Denise what a wonderfully profound post. I loved it. Thank you for putting it up on the Bandita site. And congratulations on the Avon release. Love that cover. How sexy is that?

Denise Rossetti said...

Good heavens Rachel! The lovely Anna is right, you're quick off the mark. *g*

And for those who weren't there - ie the rest of the world - Rachel is referring to a compass diagram I did in trusty ole PowerPoint. Imagine a Compass with the following Points:

North = Priorities
East = Personalities
South = Place & Space
West = Permissions

And...um...come to think it, I put the file on my website. Duh!
http://www.deniserossetti.com/compass.ppt

Christine Wells said...

Hi D! Thanks so much for joining us in the lair. Thought I'd let someone else snaffle the Golden Rooster today and it happened to be our own Rachel! Great to see you here:)I hope your muscles are big enough--you'll need to wrestle that rooster away from our Keira.

Denise, that wonderfully inspiring post could have been written for me. I'm always making excuses about why I can't put writing first. Whenever I hear that phrase A Room of Her Own, I feel like I'm about to cry with longing for that very thing--not that I'd exchange my lovely boys for the world but some alone and *free* time would be nice.

But it's all about priorities and attitude, as you so rightly pointed out. You'll be pleased to know that today I took the first step--hunting down an antique walnut desk to buy with my Scandal's Daughter advance so I can have my own little space, even if it's in my bedroom:)

And I was remiss in not saying I LOVED Coming on Strong. Sooo sexy and funny. The hero reminds me of Hugh Jackman--a gorgeous all-Aussie male who's in a leetle bit over his head with this particular heroine. Great stuff! Everyone, go and buy it!!

Denise Rossetti said...

Hey Anna! Yep, profound, that's me - especially after a few champagnes in your company!

Thanks for the congrats, and hey everyone, did you realise Anna's brilliant UNTOUCHED is released the same day, next Tuesday? Talk about keeping fine company!

As for the cover, I truly believe the cover fairy touched me with her wand at birth. The RED HOT NEW YEAR cover is incredibly sexy and sassy, but no sleaze, none at all. And My Beloved, who in addition to his culinary gifts, is a wine expert, was pleased to approve of the Moet she's clutching, lucky girl!

And the discerning among you will already have noted Mr Gorgeous, who graces the cover of my first book with Ellora's Cave, GIFT OF THE GODDESS. Get me a fan, whew! PHROARRRRR!

Oh and don't forget I'm giving away oversized postcards of my EC covers. Some readers even frame them! heh heh

Alison said...

Hi Denise,
Great post. Commas and charcter arcs might be important to a writer but so is his/her spiritual and physical wellbeing. It's good to look inward occassionally and take stock. Thanks for the reminder.

Meagan Hatfield said...

Wonderful post, Denise!

Phew...from now on, anytime the guilt fairy plops her butt on my shoulder, I'll think about your compass and flick her off. LOL!

I'll have to read Woolf's Room (I loved Orlando) and must say, I totally agree with her. I adore and covet my office. :-)

And did someone say a sexy Aussie hero who resembles Hugh Jackman? ((pant, pant)) Girl, I am all over him...err, it. *winks*

Congrats on all of your success, lady!!!

Denise Rossetti said...

Heya C! An antique walnut desk, huh? That is sooo you! *smile* But seriously, sounds like a plan. Even if you can't have a room of your own, a SPACE of your own is so important.

As for Sam Jones, hero of COMING ON STRONG. *sigh* I imagine him as a gorgeous cross between Steve Irwin and Indiana Jones - with ocean eyes. Oh my. In fact, his friends call him "Indy".

He's my first Aussie hero and I had so much fun with the Down Under drawl. There's an excerpt on my website - http://www.deniserossetti.com/comingonstrong.html
Australian men really do talk like that!

Uh, and so do Aussie women. I took my courage in both hands and did a podcast. It's rough, but honest! *grin*
There's a link on the same excerpt page above, just scroll down a tad.

Eric said...

Denise, using a metaphor about finding your North is interesting. I hear so many lady folk say they weren’t born with a compass in their head. (I also occasionally chase after one just to inform her she is physically charging off in the wrong direction).

Isn’t it interesting how many people (mostly ladies) feel a selfish guilt for wanting time to pursuit a dream (or desire)? And to the same extent other people (mostly males) don’t have a clue what’s going on.

Some time ago, in the interest of inter partner relations, we (I) drew up a plan of ownership, for locations within the building. It was to make sure everyone had personal space and could make decisions about what happened there. For example, the owner had the power to stop the vacuum cleaner or even leave a large seven-sided object sitting around without explaining why. They could even choose who came, stayed or went in their domain.

I only got one small room and had to give up four times the space in ‘my’ beautiful workshop. Until the new deal I’d taken the workshop ‘power’ for granted. It was easy taking control and hard releasing the same. We both produce better results and we even share the same office, now.

I’m with you Denise. I understand and love your article. (Thank you) --- (Hi Christine (Thank you))

Eric

Denise Rossetti said...

Good point, Alison. I don't think miserable writers produce much that's good except believable angst and there has to be more than that to make a good romance.

And also, you need to be stable and steady and consistent. This creativity stuff ain't for sissies!

Cassondra said...

Hi Denise, and welcome to the lair. I'm off to work for the day, but I'll be back to read and comment this evening. Just wanted to say thanks for joining us.

Denise Rossetti said...

Eric, it's perfectly clear to me that you never have to turn the map upside down. Whereas I am perfectly consistent, I am ALWAYS heading in the wrong direction unless I happen to know exactly where I am. *sigh*

And you've put your finger on a significant contributing factor in the "Finding True North" problem - communicating CLEARLY what our different Compass "Points" are and then NEGOTIATING a compromise that is truly that - a compromise, not a victory. Because a victory can only occur if someone loses.

I know that I've been guilty of seething in silence waiting for My Beloved to notice. He doesn't. He's not a mind-reader, poor man. No one is, not even a hero in a romance - unless it's a paranormal and he has some special power... Hmm... And even then...

Kudos to you and your partner on your clear communication about Place and Space.

But I have to ask - why seven-sided? What's wrong with say, nine or thirteen or six?

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Cassondra!

Thanks for joining you? Heavens, I'm downright thrilled to be invited!

Have a great day at work. By the time you get back, I'll be off for a whole day planning meeting. *sigh*

p226 said...

As a side benefit, I no longer have that prickly, vulnerable sensation in the nape of my neck as I sit with my back to the door.

I always wondered how people could do that. How can people sit with their backs to entrances? Yeah. I'm one of THOSE people. I have to sit with a commanding view of the restaurant and all entrances. I wouldn't be able to write in any environment if I couldn't see the entrances, either. No way I could focus. Maybe this should be in the "weird phobias" post....

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Meagan, I can't help but wonder what that Guilt Fairy is wearing. A grubby tracksuit, tatty sneakers and an accusing expression? Or perhaps, she's trailing smoke, doing the Burning Martyr thing?

I definitely get the impression of a big bottom though. Comes from sitting on said behind and pointing the finger at others.

You got it, my friend. Flick!

doglady said...

I definitely need one of those postcards to frame as . . . inspiration. Yes, that's it! Inspiration! Strictly a literary aid. This was really a great post Denise. I am one of those people who actually has the whole house to myself, but that doesn't necessarily mean I have my own SPACE. I am still working on carving out the space in my life for writing. A physical space is a heckuvalot easier than a psychological space. Now that I am nearly finished with my first WIP, writing means so much more to me than most of the other things that clutter up my every day life. I am going to spend some time contemplating your post so that I can make sure I am giving myself all the permission I need. NEVER easy for a woman even if she does live alone!

MsHellion said...

This is a great blog! I love it! (Esp apt for my blogger of Writer Pirates--I will have to share the concept with them as well! I hope they come by today and read it for themselves as well!)

Permissions...I'm single. No kids. And the typical, natural assumption is that I have all the time in the world--but you'd be amazed at all the stuff I have to prioritize to fit in the writing that is crucial to my sanity. And family/friends can guilt you just as much, maybe even more so, if you don't spend time with them or do favors--especially since I have all this "time" available. *LOL*

Place. I don't have a "place" necessarily. I have a laptop--and I write in bed. I write in the living room at times. I've written at my local library (which is NICE, I love it)--and I have writer friends in my town--sometimes we gather at her place and write. *LOL* I don't need my laptop though--I take notebooks with me all the time; I have a notebook in my purse too (I've whipped it out at the movie theater when an idea or a bit of dialogue occurs to me.)

Caren Crane said...

Denise, welcome to the Lair! I love the compass points analogy. I am not a person who is compass-challenged. I adore a compass and love to orienteer, so I find your compass points quite handy.

I agree with Meagan about giving the Guilt Fairy a flick. But I imagine the (large-bottomed) GF as dressing really well--much ncer than I manage, most days. Since she is so well put-together, she can make the rest of us feel like slackers for not managing it! *g*

I am old enough to know I must demand my own time and to do so. Space, however, is another thing. I feel the "nape of the neck" thing whenever I sit at my computer in my tiny corner of our library at home. It doesn't even have a door! You have inspired me to look for a French screen to put behind my chair so I can create a sense of security and isolation, at least. *sigh*

Maybe when my older daughter is out of the house, I can claim her room as an office!

Nancy said...

Hi, Denise! You make some great points.

I also have a dh who cooks and who, luckily for me, supports my goals and ambitions. My problem was with other people. A self-employed friend warned me when I quit work that many people would see the absence of a paycheck as unrestricted availability unless I set boundaries quickly. So I had to give myself permission to say no, a wonderfully liberating choice. As my friend said, "No one else will respect your writing time unless you do."

I know what you mean about that prickly feeling. I'm with p226. Ever since I read about Wild Bill Hickock (not sure of the spelling), when I was about 10, I've wanted my front facing the door. This can cause problems when dining with other people similarly obsessed *g*.

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Denise! We're so glad you've joined us *g*

What a wonderful post. While I do have my own space, I'm still working on granting myself permission to write *g* Luckily, my husband and kids are very supportive and I don't suffer from guilt very often.

I've turned over most of the housework to my kids and try and make sure my writing is done during the day so my evenings are free for family and/or my other interests :-)

Keira Soleore said...

Denise, welcome to the Bandita Lair. I loved your compass concept. I have read and own a copy of Virginia Woolf's essay. It's as true today as it was in her day or in Jane Austen's times.

Especially with small children, privacy or a private corner of a room become impossible. Is it then possible to retain the focus, "find your compass so to speak" without this one thing, or do all four have to be present in order for true north to be yours?

Christine said, "I hope your muscles are big enough--you'll need to wrestle that rooster away from our Keira."

Now, now. I'm just a well-mannered sweetheart. Just ask Foanna and Caren. I give up the GR with grace.

jo robertson said...

Denise, OIC of the kitty litter sounds very impressive! Welcome to the Bandit Lair.

I love the topic of giving ourselves permission, regardless of the arena. I think we women are especially vulnerable to the disease of giving without insisting that our own needs be met.

One of the most liberating things I gave myself permission to do was not blame myself for the mistakes my children made.

Caren Crane said...

Keira is correct. She is quite ladylike in her surrender of the Golden Rooster - mostly. But don't get between her and a jar of Nutella!

Caren Crane said...

One of the most liberating things I gave myself permission to do was not blame myself for the mistakes my children made.

Jo, a friend and I were discussing this at lunch today. It's so much easier for us mothers if we can let go when the kids are old enough to face consequences of their making.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Keira, you gave up the GR with grapes when you handed it over to me. SOUR ones! Bwahahahahahaha!

Christine Wells said...

Keira said: "Now, now. I'm just a well-mannered sweetheart. Just ask Foanna and Caren. I give up the GR with grace."

LOL, Keira. I should have known by your bonnet that you'd behave with utter propriety. Which begs the question...what are you doing in the Bandit lair??

Christine Wells said...

Oh, Foanna, NO! Not more malapropisms! Although, my 4yo came up with a great one the other day. Sometimes when he's resisting going to bed, I start singing our usual goodnight song over the top of his yelling. (Goodnight, sweetheart, well it's time to go...) He yelled, "Mummy STOP SINNING!" Hee. I guess my singing really is that bad.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Denise -- I'm at home with two little ones right now, & carving out writing time is always a challenge. I live with the guilt fairy perched on my shoulder, but I keep knocking her off. Having something of my own (though, tragically, nothing so concrete as an actual room) makes me a better mom & wife. Sanity is an extremely attractive quality. At least my family thinks so. :-)

Thanks for dropping by the lair & helping me banish the guilt fairy one more day!

Susan

Helen said...

What a great interview I loved it I always try to give myself time and space but with working, a big family it sometimes get very hard but I love my reading so much that I always find my time and place to read I have my chair in the family room and am very comfortable in it and the family pretty much leave me to read they of course are all grown up now.
I read my first erotic romance last month Everything Forbidden by Jess Michaels and I loved it so I will be getting this one when it is released I have always loved the passion and sensual characters in the books that I have read over the years but the erotic that I read was so hot what else can I say.
I agree that everyone should find their own space and time to enjoy their favourtie things and I love the way you explained it.
Thanks again Denise and Christine keep up the writing Ladies because I love to read them.
Have Fun
Helen

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Denise -
I have made procrastination an art form. If something isn't working right in my story, or the characters just aren't clicking the way they should, I suddenly find a million things that I SHOULD do rather than write. Yeah - Permission is a problem because I make it one.

LOL on the place to write. Paige is a friend and she's often asked me to submit photos of my work environment. I'd be too embarrassed. One office is so overloaded with paper it stifles creativity. Can't right there. So I take my laptop to the back porch or dining room to write. I settle in. Accumulate a ton of reference material around the laptop and then have to pack it all up again so someone can actually eat at the dining room table. I'm my worst enemy in this regard

Anna Campbell said...

Christine, maybe your son has been peeping into that latest book! Mmm, sinning indeed...

Anna Campbell said...

I mean sinning in a GOOD (well, you know what sort of good!) way!

Laura J. said...

This is a really great post! Thanks for sharing.

I know that I'm a much better parent/wife/friend/etc. when I do make time for myself.

Keira Soleore said...

Christine asked, "Which begs the question...what are you doing in the Bandit lair??"

It's Foanna's fault. She led me astray with a HUGE jar of Nutella in one day. What could I do but follow?

Denise Rossetti said...

Goodness, you folk have been busy! How nice to wake up to such an interesting conversation. Though - I'm NOT a morning gal. If that Golden Rooster comes anywhere near me and so much as squeaks, I'll strangle it.

p226, I don't think it's a weird phobia at all. Sitting where you can see a hunter sneaking up on you makes good survival sense to me! A former colleague of mine couldn't change her office setup and the feeling was driving her so crazy, it was interfering with her work. The solution? She bought a cheap stick-on rearview mirror from an auto shop and attached it to the monitor!

Denise Rossetti said...

doglady, I can't imagine a whole house to myself. *sigh* I always say to My Beloved that when we win the lottery, we'll buy adjoining penthouses, Hers and His. I can live in peace and pop next door for meals and to do any necessary research for my books!

But I hear you on the psychological/emotional Space issue. Amazing what clutters up our lives isn't it? Stuff that really, truly DOESN'T MATTER. Not in the long run.

Denise Rossetti said...

MsHellion, Writer Pirates? Oh my! Well, buckle me swash, lass, the current free story on my website and newsletter is about pirates. It's called Rackety Kate.
http://www.deniserossetti.com/stories.html

You need Permission to say NO, I think! And yes, it can be awfully hard, given you have so much "free time". My family started viewing the whole business differently once the first royalty cheque arrived. Money - the ultimate validation!

And I write in bed too, with the laptop on a tray table and the cat draped over my ankles. Whatever Space works for you.

Denise Rossetti said...

Gosh Caren, I'm in awe. You orienteer? I'd still be out there, the search party having given up.

The screen idea has worked really well for me, and because it's an office divider I can use it for a noticeboard. Mind you, there's quite a difference between the pictures on my side and the "public" side!

Hope your daughter doesn't catch you lusting after her Space!

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Nancy, Your friend is very wise and so are you, to heed her advice. But it can be enormously difficult to say no to those we love and we need to acknowledge that.

One of the primary Permissions, I think!

Denise Rossetti said...

Beth, what you've done sounds great. But can't it be hard to actually "let go" of a responsibility, just in case the other person doesn't do it "right"? That is, the way you'd do it. *smile*

Given I'm an impatient, slapdash cook, it wasn't hard to let My Beloved take that one, but there are other things... I say to myself, "Let it go, girl, let it go..."

Christine Wells said...

Hey Keira! Nutella spread thickly on choc chip cookie. Mmmm.

I swear I have not had that since I was at school. But I have fond memories...

And I can attest to Denise not being a morning person. Shared a room with her at a conference once. LOL

Christine Wells said...

Foanna, blushing about all the GOOD kind of sinning in Dangerous Duke. My mother wants to read the ms. Sigh. I said to her, I'll probably let you read it but for the moment, can we just pretend you're not? I can't write these scenes if I think you're going to read them. Needless to say, DD is a LOT hotter than Scandal's Daughter.*g*

Denise Rossetti said...

Okay everyone, off to the day job. An all-day planning fest. Be still my beating heart.

I hope to be pop in during the day. We'll See, as my mother still says...

Sharon said...

Great post, Denise! I identify with Dorothy Parkers comment - "I love having written"! Oooo, and some days with the bit about hating writing!

On the compass, it's the PERMISSIONS that give me most trouble -- though the PRIORITIES run a close second! My bossy left brain wants my words to arrive on the page fully formed and to know everything before I start! I'm getting better and have found that 'discovering' things as I write can actually be fun. I read Stephen King's On Writing when I was struggling to finish my very first manuscript and it was a revelation. It helped me give myself permission to keep writing and see what happened.

Congratulations on your Avon release - I'm looking forward to reading Sam and Gina's story.
:))
Sharon

Eric said...

Denise,

Re: Seven sided object… --- I don’t understand what is so upsetting about the seven-sided object either, except for sitting beside someone holding ‘it’ on public transport. --- I’m informed its ‘feng shou,’ energy lines or something; whatever that means.


Re: He's not a mind reader… --- When ‘we’ first co-habituated (all those years ago). ‘She’ would wake me and ask the time. I would sit up, concentrate on the clock in the far corner of the room, wake up and read out loud, before lying to start plotting, while ‘she’ went straight back to sleep.

After six years I felt brave enough to say (very politely (I think)). “Why don’t you look at the clock for yourself?”

The answer, “Because I don’t have my glasses on.”

The solution came by moving the clock close, to ‘her’ side, where ‘she’ could see it like she always did and I couldn’t turn it off (anymore) without being full awake. ---

I often wonder if people spit up over things like that, never knowing why?

Eric

RobynGrady said...

Oh boy, Denise. You're a wife, a mother, a woman, a writer...you know, like the rest of us, how hard it is to fit it all in and not feel guilty.

This year was tough. Working into the wee hours, saying 'no' to school events and 'yes' to takeout far too often. Twelve months on from my first sale (and with school holidays fast approaching), something's got to give.

You know, I'm not sure what that is yet,lol. But after reading your post, it's made me more determined to find the answer that suits *me*. Thanks for that.

Huge congrats on your latest release!!! Can't wait to gobble it up. That's something else I want to change...find more time for pleasure reading. Hey, that's how all this craziness got started, right?

Robbie x

Kirsten said...

Denise,

There is so much good stuff in your post, i feel like I can't give it justice, what with the thanksgiving turkey gobbling at me from the corner...

Anyway, I take the priority thing pretty seriously. I don't usually have a problem making writing a priority--sometimes I have to work to make sure it doesn't override other priorities, like family. Permissions are harder. I have the hardest time giving myself permission to be the sort of mom I am in my heart, and not the sort of super-mom I see in my dreams. I think that's a hard one for all of us moms.

Congratulations on all your success!! Thanks for being here and I hope Christine can convince you to come back very soon!

Sami said...

Denise,

Great post. I think as women and as writers we constantly need to remind ourselves that we are as important as everyone around us. It's been a long struggle for me to get to that point, so that when hubby suddenly says he feels like 'going for a drive' or something similar, I don't drop everything I'm doing. I can say, 'I'm writing today'. When he moans I say 'All you need to do is let me know ahead of time when you want to do something and I'll keep myself free'. To this he once said crossly 'So I have to make an appointment with my own wife?' Completely guiltless I said 'Yep'.

I mean, I'm at least as busy as any doctor I know so why not?

Something I've cut back on doing is cooking. I used to cook everything from scratch - no frozen things, no instant sauces - I was a bit of a food snob. Now I spare two nights a week to cook that way, which provides another creative outlet for me, and the rest of the time it's heating things up in the microwave! I've given myself permission to be a so-so cook a lot of the time - very liberating.

Denise Rossetti said...

Christine, haven't you heard? The only people who don't have sex are parents and children. LOL

Christine Wells said...

Kirsten, I'm sure I can twist Denise's arm to come back, kicking and screaming, mind you...

And Denise--what's your point? Of course my parents never had sex.

Cassondra said...

LOVE the blog Denise.

It's one I need right now. Overwhelmed is an understatement, and I do it to myself.

Cleaning my space so I can get work done--and MAKING time to actually write (since, after all, I'm not getting paid yet)--justifying that to MYSELF--that would be my downfall.

Oh, and you hit the proverbial nail HARD with the "give yourself permission to not be perfect at something...."

Thank you for the reminder--at a particularly crazy time of year.

The back-to-the-door issue is a fairly universal feng-shui thing--they say NEVER sit with your back to the door when you're trying to work--if you have to, get a mirror so you can see who's entering your "space."

My husband not only can't sit with his back to the door in a public place, he also has to strategize a way to each of the exits. Maybe it's a consistent soldier thing.

Oh, and Denise, the cover goddess was SO good to you....

p226 said...

Cassondra said:

My husband not only can't sit with his back to the door in a public place, he also has to strategize a way to each of the exits. Maybe it's a consistent soldier thing.

Glad I'm not the only one that does that. By the time the maitre d' has left the table I have three egress routes mentally mapped.

Anna Campbell said...

DD is sure hot, CW!!! The fire brigade called round while I was reading it to hose down the flames! ;-)

Denise, thank you for blogging with us today. Haven't we had a great time. Come back and see us again!

And thanks to all new people who called by the Banditas. Come by and see us again. We're a friendly lot. A smile, a beer, a comfy chair. What else do you want? ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, girls, just to let you know - that Keira would do ANYTHING for a jar of nutella! ;-)

Stuntgnome said...

Denise!! Today I fessed up to a work colleague (who I admire and respect very much) exactly what genre it is that I write. He was male, which made the whole thing just a tad more uncomfortable and then he thought I was telling him because I had based the hero on him! I hadn't! After we'd both stopped blushing at that little misunderstanding he asked me some really switched on questions about the genre, expressed his (very sincere) wish that I do well with it and offered any help he could give.

So... officially 'outed' as a writer of romance now and really feeling quite boyant about it all. It wasn't as hard as I'd feared. And I have you and your compass to thank for it :)

AND I got to spend some time looking at my favourite cover of all time (your Goddess) while reading today's blog.

THank you for your inspiration!

NIKKI (aka Bootcamp Survivor/Thriver)

Stuntgnome said...

Oh, that's a bit odd. Have no idea how Google knows that I'm 'stuntgnome' (old nickname from Uni)... sorry about that, not trying to be cagey...

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Nikki, nice to see you here! Come back and see us again. And haven't you had a fantastic run in the comps since the Bootcamp? Huge congratulations! Good for you for confessing to what you do. We can't expect people to respect out genre unless we stand up for ourselves. Oh, dear, I'm about to start singing the National Anthem! Ra ra!

Stuntgnome, huh?

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Keira, I think it's the interruptions rather than the lack of physical space - the "head-space", if you will. Still, Jane Austen wrote in the family sitting room, where she must have constantly been interrupted. She must have had superb powers of concentration!

I'm afraid I need blocks of connected time, so I can disappear deep, deep down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole.

Denise Rossetti said...

Jo, you have my utmost respect. It's hardest of all to let go in relation to your kids. I always think every newborn should come with a word inked on each tiny bottom cheek.

Guilt on one side and Love on the other.

Denise Rossetti said...

Susan, when mine were little, I tried so hard to be a good mother. BTW, I'm not an especially maternal type, so it didn't come naturally!

In the end, I gave up and did the best I could. And I remember saying to myself something almost the same as you. "Make it easy on yourself, don't sweat it, just love the little devils." Particularly pertinent at meal times when they wouldn't eat what I'd cook, me being such a lousy chef. *sigh*

And how about that Guilt Fairy? She's taking on her own persona I think!

Denise Rossetti said...

Helen, so glad you enjoyed the post and that it struck a chord with you. I think you've found your True North - and it seems your family recognises and respects it!

Denise Rossetti said...

Donna, you're speaking to the Queen of Procrastination! Perhaps we could rule jointly? *g* I'm EXACTLY the same, if the story isn't coming, I'll fluff around and fluff around doing...heaven knows what. I draw the line at housework, however. I'd rather write.

Go on, send Paige your Space, can't be worse than some of the ones she has there! Besides, I'm dead-set certain the Home Beautiful ones tidied up before the photo shoot! Well, that's what I tell myself.

Denise Rossetti said...

Hey Laura, thanks for dropping by! Yep, time for self = sane and happy person. Good on you for taking the me-space you need.

Denise Rossetti said...

Sharon, I hate "how-to-write" books with a passion, although I acknowledge that some people find the enormously helpful. Just not for moi.
So I started King's "on Writing" with my arm already flexed to throw it against the wall.

Man, it was brilliant! I gobbled it up like it was fiction. (I don't read his novels, too scary for me.) Absolutely inspirational.

And seeing what your problems are with Priorities and Permissions is half the battle with finding your True North. You're almost there!

Denise Rossetti said...

Eric, you're not only a prince, but a brave one at that. *g* We bought a lock radio with enormous red digital numbers.

Denise Rossetti said...

Hiya Robbie, I can imagine how tough it was, but we're all soooo glad you hung in there to create those fabulous reads!

And you're right about reading for pleasure. I need to give myself Permission to do more of it. *sigh*

Denise Rossetti said...

Thanks, Kirsten. I envy you your Thanksgiving dinner. And I envy all of you over there a holiday dedicated to being grateful for your blessings. What a beautiful idea.

Hmmm, one of the problems with having to be perfect is that it PAYS OFF! Often! It's a superb trap. You write a great book, deliver a brilliant project at work, sew the best ballet costume on the stage. But gee whiz, we get to pay for it in other ways!

Life's interesting.

And I'd love to visit the Lair again. Your discussions are so fascinating. (I'm scared of small closed-in spaces, like being inside the car with an angry Beloved in a an underground car park, endlessly circling...)I try to pop in every now and then, especially when I'm ruling as the Queen of Procrastination. *sigh*

Denise Rossetti said...

Sami, can you hear me cheering from the other side of town? You go, girl! *pumps fist* Yeah!

Denise Rossetti said...

Cassondra, this True North stuff can be VERY uncomfortable. Because to do it effectively, you have to reassess. There are a whole lot of things in my life (not writing!) where I say to myself, "Let it go, let it go..."

Alternatively, I use the 80-20 rule. Try putting in 80% of the effort, it's often just as good. Particularly with vacuuming. *g*

Denise Rossetti said...

Nikki, you're a legend!

Everyone, Nikki's one of the inspirational Bootcampers I referred to in my post.

I'm so glad you "came out" and that you got such a great reaction from your colleague. (Is he 6'4" and hunky? Which would be why he fancies himself as hero, right?) Most people are either supportive or politely not interested. You can handle that.

Try telling people you write erotic romance!!! Once I'd managed to tell my mother, anyone else's reaction was pretty well irrelevant! I do find most men's eyes go all shiny and beady at the first word, though. They don't hear the second.

Denise Rossetti said...

Anna dear, I'll be baaack, as they say. Should I bring Nutella? What is it with the Nutella? Gross.

Christine Wells said...

What a great day! Thanks so much for coming and handing down your words of wisdom, Denise. I'm going to try to put those compass points into practice.