posted by Nancy
This being January, lots of us have made resolutions. This being late January, some of us will have fallen off the wagon. Kathleen O’Reilly’s January Blaze, Midnight Resolutions, is particularly timely, so Kathleen and I are chatting today about resolutions.
Welcome, Kathleen! I confess that I no longer make resolutions because the word is so intimidating. I make plans. Which are sort of like hopes with some oomph behind them. And which are not going all that well. I haven’t been back to the gym, haven’t appreciably altered my eating habits, but I have made significant progress on my latest manuscript, an indication I’m doing better at time management. Did you make resolutions you’re willing to share? And if so, how’re they doing?
I don't make resolutions that are intended to last the entire year, maybe a quarter of the year instead. It makes it a LOT easier to carry out. Most of my goal making is done in very small increments. Sadly, I have discovered that it's not any easier to drop five pounds than it is to drop twenty-five. Wimpy, they name is Kathleen. On the positive front, I have been going to the gym a lot. I enjoy working out, and walking, and I notice that I feel a LOT better when I exercise, because, alas, without exercise, I am a slug.
Without exercise, I have no hope, alas, of losing actual, noticeable weight. Another of my plans for 2010 was to whittle the TBR pile. It’s gotten to the point where I’m afraid to buy anything that’s not a new release lest I later discover it deep in the teetering stack. What’s your TBR pile like?
Hehehe.... My TBR is getting smaller. I have a Kindle, and it virtualizes your TBR pile. When my Kindle is off, my TBR pile disappears from view. Poof. Very stressless. However, I have been whittling it down. I just finished The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and enjoyed it. LOVED Anna Campbell's Captive of Sin (as always), and I'm currently reading the Help. I just got my stack of Rita books, which I cannot talk about, but it wasn't a thrilling stack like I'm lucky enough to get in years past (only one actually). But, the upside is that there are a lot of books that I don't think I'm going to enjoy that I really do. I've discovered some favorite writers that way. So, the moral of the story is 'don't judge a book by its cover, nor it's back cover copy, either.'
So you're actually not only whittling the TBR pile but have found a new way to hide it. My dh may be interested in this strategy as the books climb and teeter and spill in various corners of our house. What are you reading these days?
I'm about 25% through The Help and then after that it's the aforementioned Rita books.
I started Street Magic, the first of Caitlin Kittredge's Black London series. I'm not too far into it, but it's interesting so far. I'm almost through (because, hey, what's life without multiple books in progress?) Air Time, the third Charlotte McNally mystery from Hank Phillippi Ryan, who'll be here next week. It's living up to the other two, which were great.
What’s your biggest time management issue?
Probably that there's only 24 hours in a day. I would like to stop time for a bit, get through a task, and then start it up again when I'm done. Einstein was really onto something. Now if they could only figure out how to make my to-do list travel at a constant rate, and my watch (or my family) move at a relative pace to the constant. There's big money in that invention. Big money, I say.
You need a time turner, like Hermione had in The Prizoner of Azkaban, maybe. I need improved planning. We control freaks will settle for the illusion of control if we can't have the real thing, so I'm trying to keep everyone else in line with writing things on the master calendar. And then I need to remember to, you know, LOOK at it. But I'm doing better. I think.
The hero and heroine of Midnight Resolutions meet at the big Times Square New Year celebration. Tell us a little about them.
First of all, Ian Cumberland is one cool, albeit slightly deluded dude. I made him the romantic, the optimist, just out of his job as an investment banker, and now working in a job placement agency to help people find work. He THINKS that it's an interim job, because he wants his old life back. But he's very happy go lucky, so he doesn't whine too much about it (hate whiners; Kathleen's New Year's Resolution -- write no whiners - EVAH). Enter Rose Hildebrand, who ends up kissing a stranger (Ian, natch) on New Year's Eve. Rose has a ton of baggage. Big baggage, and she wants security and control most of all. She has her life planned, and she sticks to that plan RIGOROUSLY (now there is a woman who makes and keeps all resolutions). But fate keeps intervening, which is not a good thing for a woman who cleaves to control like other women cleave to ice cream.
Would you like to share an excerpt? And didn’t this book get a really good rating from Romantic Times?
It did! It got a Top Pick from RT. Fair warning, I don't think everyone will love Rose like I did. She's not even close to typical romance heroine material because of her past, but I'm an equal opportunity writer. It strikes me as unfair that only the happy, perky, satisfied heroines get to find love. Sometimes I want the unlovable to find love, too. And I think that's the point of the book. Everyone has a heart. Sometimes it's just more difficult to find it. And the excerpt is located here.
Any parting advice or opinions about resolutions?
I'm about to start on a whole new pack of books (two new trilogies) and it's fun to start fresh with a blank slate of people. I think with resolutions, that's the fun part as well. Starting anew. Erasing past history, past mistakes, past weight gain (sadly, they haven't figured out the science of erasing past weight gain except through exercise and diet, so we should probably strike that if we're being truthful). I think that's my favorite part of new beginnings and new resolutions. Everything is possible. Everything.
Ah, the allure of potential! I think that's part of the attraction at places like Home Depot and Lowe's and Michaels--walking down the aisles bombards a person with possibilities. My approach in recent years had been to not beat myself up for what I haven't done and to focus instead on what I have while I keep working on the bits that aren't quite there yet.
So what about you? How are you doing in the 2010 resolutions game, and what advice would you offer other people? What are you reading as the year kicks off, and what's your TBR pile like? One commenter will win a copy of Midnight Resolutions.