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MaryJoPutney
Author. Traveler. Cat lover. Introvert.
Recent Activity
Plaatsch, this is why NanoWRiMo is so popular-it forces one to WRITE! It sounds like you've really benefited from it. Getting down the bones of the story is essential.
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2015 on Deadlines & Dreadlines! at Word Wenches
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Sue---that kind of work where you have to meet deadlines established by other people mistakes are CRAZY MAKING! It's true that fiction is all year round, but if your publisher has you slotted in a particular month and they are doing publicity around that release date--VERY BAD to leave them with an empty slot!
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2015 on Deadlines & Dreadlines! at Word Wenches
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You survived your first deadline! Well done, Cynthia. Christmas stories don't have much flex in the timing.
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2015 on Deadlines & Dreadlines! at Word Wenches
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Luckily, deadlines DO almost always have some flexibility. Way to go getting your book in! Enjoy a few bon bons. *G*
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2015 on Deadlines & Dreadlines! at Word Wenches
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Sonya--very true that burning, possibly panicky, passion often produces the best work. Would that we could hop directly to that state and skip the frantically floundering that gets us to that state of creative white heat!
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2015 on Deadlines & Dreadlines! at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Several of us are under the deadline gun at the moment, so I thought it would be interesting to do an Ask A Wench about how we each deal with deadlines. Or in the term Pat Rice coined, Dreadlines! As usual, we differ greatly. <G> The Question: Deadlines — do you love them? Hate them? Would you be unable to function without them? Do you always finish early enough that the point is moot? Or do you flounder desperately as the sword of Damocles drops faster and faster? The Answers: Anne Gracie here. I've always had a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at Word Wenches
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ROFL! What a fine and funny way to start the day. Thanks, Nicola. *G* Kathy Lynn, I particularly like your comment!
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2015 on The Age of the Euphemism at Word Wenches
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Ah, magical, Anne! I'm another great fan of Masefield's immortal line, and like you, I never pass up a chance to go to the sea. I've been to many beaches around the world, but a favorite is one on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgins. A pale empty swathe of sand, turquoise seas--and pelicans, not penguins. *G* And yes, I also pick up bits and pieces and there is more than one piece of tangled driftwood around here!
Toggle Commented Aug 7, 2015 on The Sea . . . at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo New York, New York, it's a wonderful town! The Romance Writers of America annual conference is held in New York every four years because it's traditionally the headquarters of American publishing. I go mostly to see friends and touch base with my publisher and agent and other professionals. The four Wenches present--me, Jo Beverley, Jo Bourne, and Cara Elliott (we like to call her Cara Jo <G>) had a nice Wenchly breakfast because we so seldom meet face to face. On the other hand, Pat Rice sagely said, "RWA is where introverts go to die," and it's... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Being crazy busy, I thought I'd invoke Wench Privilege to run a classic blog, and I came across this, one of the earliest blogs I ever wrote way back in 2006. I decided to update it with new pictures, mentioning what has changed, and what has not. One of the signature features of newish American homes is the deck—a broad sweep of wood on which one can slap mosquitoes, dodge wasps, burn slabs of animal flesh over a grill, and wreck one’s skin. From which description you may correctly deduce that I’m not a big fan of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo The publishing world has changed so much in the last dozen years! This anthology was first published in 2004, when independent anthologies were rare indeed, and it was produced as a fundraiser for the SOSAmerica, Inc. charity (CARE packages to deployed soldiers). The volume was edited by award-winning Silhouette author Mary Kirk. As Mary said in her introduction, "The Journey Home is about the wounded hero. The man who does what he must. The soldier who risks his life for his beliefs, his family, his country. It’s about the man who goes to war and discovers, when... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo I love a movie that combines real history with period elegance, powerful themes, and a good romance, and Belle is such a movie. It's based on the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle, an 18th century woman of mixed blood. Her mother Maria Belle was an African born slave in the West Indies, but her father was a British naval officer, Captain John Lindsey, who eventually became an admiral. After her mother's death, Dido's father took her to England and put her into the keeping of his uncle, Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Due to stealth and cunning, I was able to acquire an early copy of Word Wench Anne Gracie's The Spring Bride, third in her Chance Sisters series. I volunteered to interview her about the book, which gives me an opportunity to gush about it. <G> I love the Chance Sisters, and I'm not alone in that. The first book, The Autumn Bride, made several "best of the year" lists including Library Journal and NPR, and was also a RITA finalist. The Winter Bride received several starred reviews, an RT top pick, and was voted Favourite Historical by... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Several weeks ago, I set out to write about clotted cream and scones, and it rapidly ballooned into such a massive amount of material that I decided to do two posts, one on clotted cream and one on scones. (Anne Gracie has already blogged on the general subject of afternoon tea.) And it's still a massive amount of material! In our private Wench discussion loop, we ran wild, and given that the Wenches come from the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia, the range of experience--and opinions!--is vast. A Short History To start with an important point:... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo This week, Kensington has reissued my early romance, The Bargain, which got me to thinking about the long journey this story has. It started life as my third Signet Regency, The Would Be Widow. I was very much a neophyte at the time, and several of my writing traits first appeared here. To begin with, I connected the story to my first book, The Diabolical Baron, by making the hero of The Baron the best friend of the hero of the Widow, and a key player in the story. Without even realizing it, I had started writing... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Afternoon tea is a quintessential English custom, and one that has been discussed on the Word Wenches before when Anne Gracie wrote a delightful post on the subject. (And if anything, Australians love their afternoon tea even more than Britons do. And let us not forget the New Zealanders!) This blog began at the Virginia Festival of the Book, where Joanna Bourne and I were part of a lovely event for romance readers and writers held at a local Barnes & Noble. Two of the readers said they'd met Jo Beverley in England, and she'd showed them... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at Word Wenches
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By Mary Jo I shamelessly begged for an advance reading copy of Jo Beverley's new book, Too Dangerous for a Lady. It's a great read, with romance, suspense, and even medical matters of the time. Not only is the story a Romantic Times Top Pick (along with new books from Wenches Patricia Rice and Cara Elliott), but it received a wonderful review in Publisher's Weekly: "Beverley's brilliantly drawn protagonists shine in a story that puts equal emphasis on intrigue and love." Too Dangerous is set in Jo's long-running Regency Rogues World. There's more about the Rogues here. MJP: Jo, is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo I've always liked quilts. Throughout my childhood, I slept under a blue and white quilt a neighbor gave to my mother because the neighbor didn't want it anymore. A lot of quilts were passed around as old fashioned and uninteresting in those days, I think. But these days quilts are very popular, partly because they represent authenticity and a link with the past. Not to mention that they're beautiful usable art that can be lived with and appreciated every day. (Like most Americans I have a rather romanticized image of pioneer women gathering together for a quilting... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Word Wenches reader Anne Hoile asked this question: "Do any of you pick up an historical event and build a plot and characters around it?" We all thought the question really interesting, so here are our answers. And as always, we all have different takes on the topic! Jo Beverley: I can't remember ever beginning a book with an event in mind, probably because I begin with imaginary characters, but I often end up with a real event being a major part. My first medieval romance is set after the Norman Conquest, and my hero, Aimery, is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Serious birdwatchers keep life lists of all the varieties of birds they've observed, and I've known travelers who keep track of all the countries they've visited. I don't actually keep count, but I've certainly noticed that if you want to build up the list of countries you've visited, the Caribbean is a great place to travel. So many islands, most of them sovereign nations, and each with its own history and identity. Which is how I was able to add four new countries to my list on our recent cruise on the Wind Star, a combination sailing... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo I met jeweler and jewelry historian Renee Huff at last year's Romantic Times conference in New Orleans, where I fell in love with (and bought!) an unusual Victorian necklace from her. She's fascinating to talk to, so I prevailed on her to visit us last summer. (Renee's Etsy shop, Jeweled Legacy, can now ship internationally, if you'd like to browse the wide range of things she carries.) Now with Valentine's Day almost here, she's visiting again to talk about historic love tokens. Renee, tells us about Snakes of Love! Renee Huff: It's almost St Valentine's Day. What... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Barring a visit to a Nordstrom's cosmetic counter, I've never had a makeover personally, but I enjoy reading about them, and I love writing them! Which is why so many of my books have such scenes--not because they're good business, but because they're fun. I very seldom write stunningly beautiful heroines, and when I do, they have invariably suffered because of that beauty. Think of Helen of Troy, the most beautiful woman in the world, who became the trigger for a war. Not a good place to be! Having the sort of beauty that brings men to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Sometimes I read a non-fiction book that I like so much that I'm compelled to share it here. This time, the subject is one I'm betting most of you are familiar with: The classic movie THE PRINCESS BRIDE. The male romantic lead, Cary Elwes, has written a memoir called AS YOU WISH: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride. Besides his own behind-the-scenes experience, he includes quotes from some of his co-stars. THE PRINCESS BRIDE was written by the superstar screenwriter William Goldman, who won best screenplay Oscars for BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo The holidays are over! You've: Roasted your turkey. Navigated and possibly refereed your relations. Watched or fled the football games. Wrapped presents or shoved them all into gift bags because that's easier. Taken the ornaments away from the cat. Eaten all the Christmas cookies/fruitcake/latkes and wished for more, or decided enough already! Watched the ball drop at midnight of 12/31 to usher in 2015 (though in some Maryland towns, it might have been a crab, or a donut or a canvasback duck that dropped. <G>) Made your resolutions. So now: RELAX. I like January because it's usually... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2015 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo As my Christmas contribution to our Word Wenches Christmastide postings, I want to talk about what gives us pleasure. I've read two articles recently that said we find the greatest and most lasting pleasure in experiences, not things. Not that things aren't nice, but if you're debating taking a trip or buying a new dinette set and telling yourself that the trip will be over in days but you'll have the dinette set for years--remember that being "practical" isn't always the best choice. Twenty years from now, the dinette set might be history, but a wonderful experience... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2014 at Word Wenches