Writers are the most passionate people in the world. Romance writers have a passion that is so raw.....When I coined the phrase "write raw" it also means "live raw" and "love raw".
My mother used to take us every Sunday to the Catholic Church. She always had two quarters in her purse. She always gave one to the poor...someone poorer than her....and used the second with a dime to buy gas to go home. My mother was amazing....
My Granny and my mother taught me what real women are like. They are not women in perfect suits (though it is great if you can be that woman), holding themselves back from what they are....not even women with necessarily an education (though I encourage girls to go to college and be all they can be), or be in a top job. Real women live by special gifts and rules...those are rules of the heart. They know what it is to live by the heart. My mother said to me countless times.....you stand up for what is right...no matter the price.
Real women can get coffee for men and like it....it might be fun. It might make you feel like a woman. Or if not getting coffee then cooking or laundry or whatever for those we love...or like...whatever. Be you. Always. There is nothing wrong with being a girl...whatever that means to you.
I made a number of promises to my mother who died when I was 16. I promised her I would live every moment (which means live raw). I promised her I would not compromise on anything that truly mattered. I realize now that was an easy promise as I'd not do it any other way anyway.
I also promised her I would live the life that she never had the chance to live (raw). I've stayed true and always will, to those promises.
Promises have to do with love and passion. In this amazing season....whether your are a Christian or not, everyone can agree that a baby was born and he forever changed the world because of his deep passion, love for the world and many ideas....things that people had not even thought of in those days...like reaching out to the less fortunate, forgiving others for doing bad things...he introduced ideas we take for granted...He was amazing.
He was a person that believed in something so much he would sacrifice himself. He even cared for those that betrayed him. It is an amazing story even if you don't get in the loop of religion....or hope by believing that there is a reward. What he did stands alone with its passion, sacrifice and most of all, love.
I often say to my intellectual friends (much smarter than me obviously) that God keeps sending us people to tell us how to live and how to love. What do we do? We kill them off every time. Not just in big ways like Aristotle, Plato and Jesus...but in small ways...when we hurt a minor person for some selfish reason....like...when we are scared or jealous or....there is some other agenda... we hurt people. People hurt us.
So, my blog message for this beautiful season is to not do that to anyone. Don't mock the person who doesn't quite get things...that person who is a nerd....or the one that is a little different...perhaps more passionate and offering a heart and idea...who knows????...it might be a gift for you if you look deep enough. You could find something and will find a golden nugget of great beauty in every single person. I do. Always.
Aristotle said before his death, "You think you are something, when you are nothing." He could have stayed the hand of what was to happen to him, however, he would not compromise. He realized in passion that some things are worse than death.
Of course there is Joan of Arc and so many others...those people who are amazing because they show a path of transcending the smallness of the world sometimes.
If you live by your heart, that is where you find the truth of everything. Sure, people will mock you sometimes, betray you, or call out your passion, because it is out of the ordinary. Some simply do not understand. Perhaps they wish they could feel things that deeply....it is a beautiful thing...sometimes painfully beautiful, but beautiful all the same. Not everyone has that gift.
Living up to your heart, being passionate about what you believe, being unwavering and uncompromising when it matters....and doing what you believe is truly right and good....which means thinking outside of self....that....that...that is living raw...that is loving raw....that is being the master of your own fate and being the captain of your soul.
So tomorrow....I am going to live and write raw....listen to amazing Christmas music... And send my heartfelt Blessings to Christians and non-Christians...
It was the act. It was the sacrifice for something bigger than self, that was the key to Jesus. It was the passion. Those are the things that change the world. Some religions believe Jesus is just a profit. I am not smart enough to know for certain, I only know what I believe.
What I know and believe and can argue is that he sacrificed everything for ideals, he was passionate and he had a message that changed the world. If everyone lived by his humble messages....does it really matter if you think he was who you think or he wasn't? It was the message that mattered. That message was to love one another and do what is right no matter what.
Differences mean just occupying sacred space differently...but we should all move to the good. We should all move to making the world better, bringing freedom, justice and love (of course lots of passion) to the world.
When you fall down or someone pushes you...remember what Jesus said, "Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do." Then pick yourself back up and keep moving to the good.
Above all else, keep your passion. Always live and love with that passion.
So...Merry Christmas to my worldwide fans!!!....Yes...Brazil now my biggest followers besides the mid-east...thank you!
Blessings to everyone and my sincere thanks for yet another amazing month for my books. No matter your religion, we are all moving in the same direction...it is just a matter of how we chose to occupy "Sacred space" and tradition.
Thank you friends, fans, followers and family. I will continue to always write raw.
It is my most amazing year ever with my books....thank you so much.
Blessing to the world.
When I first got into writing, one of the things I learned early on from several seminars on writing was that you never write like you believe your mother will read your writing. Obviously, in romance specifically, imagining your mother reading what you wrote is a little daunting. Sadly my mother passed when I was 16 so it is a problem I wish I had.
I really cannot believe how well I have done on my own as an indie writer and just feel honored and amazed when I sell books. However, like most writers, I cannot (yet) make a living only on writing, so I have a day job. This is really why I am in San Francisco working again....but I love it very much!
However, one thing I have learned recently is that there might be something more embarrassing than your mother reading one of your steamy and sometimes downright erotic romances (The Wine Prince - Vine of Obsession for instance) and that is that your co-workers might read one of your books....now that is a yikes thought!
It was stunningly easy living out on a farm in the middle of Kentucky with 12 acres around me to write exactly what I felt like while in the "writing zone" which is like you have characters and a scene play out in your head and they just do what they want and take on their own life in directions you never dreamed they would! So thinking and then writing such (sexy and erotic) scenes was not too hard while walking the land with my dogs in isolation....it is a whole different story in the real world of working and commuting!
While the thought is flattering and absolutely I am honored that anyone would purchase and read my books, it is sometimes a little disconcerting to imagine as I go through my day that someone I work with might have read one of said books! For the first month at my new job, I hid my bag going in and out of work (which has my books on it....sexy scenes of book covers is most certainly "inappropriate" in the workplace). I was soon discovered and uncovered during a Google search by a co-worker.....Not that I was exactly hiding it, but it isn't like one puts THAT on her resume to work at a law firm (I have other much more relevant credentials like having a BA in Law Studies).
I admit the day job does get in the way of writing the next book as quickly as I would like. Getting into the "zone" is much harder, but it also adds new elements to my life and book writing (not to mention pays the bills in full which is a really good thing!) Plus I work with really fun and interesting people which have become a family of sorts while I live away from my own real family..
So, dear readers, friends and fans, thank you for being there and yes, I am working on the next book (despite the slowness of my efforts). In the meantime you will know that somewhere in San Francisco is a romance writer disguising herself as a legal assistant....and hoping co-workers don't read her books, even if getting book sales is really important....giggles and yikes!
When is the next book out? Well....I am shifting between steamy romance or erotic again. The book is about half written and I finally have fully formed characters.
Now it is a decision about the level of erotic. I have learned that it is darned hard to find a book on Amazon or other sites if you jump into erotic...so maybe I will just push the envelope of steamy....Of course, this is certainly not a topic for around the coffee pot at my law firm....even if I might think about it on my lunch walk... more giggles.
Thanks to you all who tune into my blog all over the world! I can't believe how much my audience has grown...I promise I am working....by day as a mild mannered legal assistant and by night an erotic romance writer. Moving into the Thanksgiving and Christmas Seasons, I have much to be thankful for and am committed to doing a blog at least once a month despite my fun day job which has kept me rather busy! I am having a great time...and who knows...perhaps there will be a book about lawyers someday....we will see...yikes yet again.
I still can't believe I sell books every day even while I race through my regular job....it is a miracle really and I am humbled by the thought even while standing at a copy machine....and rushing to do a filing...
As always, many, many Blessings to all of my family, friends, fans and readers. Thank you so much.
I do believe that while the pen is not mightier than the sword all of the time, perhaps the written word can help interpret the swords of war and the intent of those who engage in advancing liberty for those that are denied those beautiful rights, I am posting something from The Chosen One, my best seller.
Just like "Truth is on the march and nothing can stop it" I also believe that Freedom is "on the march and nothing can stop it." Perhaps policies of those that come and go might decide how quickly freedom advances, or the way it is handled can be criticized, but in the end, liberty will win because it is the most amazing of ideas and the right to freedom does not come from man nor governments, it comes from something much higher than the feeble mechanics of man.
I believe the hearts of the soldiers that died or were seriously wounded leave behind their utterly amazing spirit, bravery, strength and all of the silent but unconquerable forces of good ..... they remind and call everyone to all that is noble and good about human beings....what they leave behind touches and changes those that they wanted to help and lives on through them forever.
Their work is breathtakingly noble and of a higher calling ....and once done ....with such gallant and amazing selflessness.... the seeds of hope grow and grow into a beautiful rose....and I know the vision of a distant shore has already been seen through the deeds of the living and dead that helped bring that vision to those that never had hope to find it because they acted with such beauty of spirit for all of the world to benefit and especially those that lived in chains and fear.
Thus, the heart is mightier than the sword when it shines with good and the sacrifice is ultimate.
Perhaps where the sword left off maybe humble words will help in some small way...to bring good people to Freedom and Peace....and to bring my sisters from far away that much closer to personal liberty...to have the chance to chase their dreams, write their words, live as equals and find Freedom's Front Door.
"Because my dear sisters, none of us are free until all of us are free."
From The Chosen One.
Freedom's Front Door
By: Rebecca Bernadette Mance
October 20, 2009
Dedicated to the Iraqi and Afghan people
and all those who are willing
to walk through Freedom's Front Door.
May you know that we are not perfect,
but we have tried our very best to do the right thing and
give you the gift of Freedom........because none of us are free until all of us are free.
We have sent the best and finest that we have to offer.....our fine soldiers....our sons and daughters...now you must take the steps walk through Freedom's Front Door.
He said, "Follow me."
Carrying a flag from a distant shore,
He had a message I could not ignore,
Follow me down the path to Freedom's Front Door.
He said, "Follow me."
Even though you cannot see the light
I will hold it high and bright,
And it will lead you on the darkest night,
To an idea born on a far away shore,
So follow me now to Freedom's Front Door.
He said, "Follow me."
Don't let others make you afraid,
Just believe in the good from my heart I gave,
And understand the sacrifice so many have made,
So that you can find a life with so much more,
When you follow me to Freedom's Front Door.
He said, "Follow me."
When you need me, I will never stand down,
I will help you until your footing is sound,
And you take that walk on the path so many have found,
You will walk alone with pride to your core,
As you walk the path to Freedom's Front Door.
He said, "Follow me."
And I knew his heart was more than brave,
His work was for more than an accolade,
And I recalled the others and what they gave.
I said, "I'll follow you."
So I started down the path and my heart soared,
Like the Eagle that flew over that distant shore,
And I walked right through Freedom's Front Door.
Thank you so much to my readers! This is my best month ever for sales! It is truly amazing and I am profoundly grateful.
Bob Mayer an inspirational, positive, fabulous writer had a post on Twitter some time back about what he was thankful for. I really liked it. It reminded me how much I have to be thankful for. Sometimes we get caught up so much with what we think matters that we forget what really matters. I had some time off....quite unplanned... Yet...as I consider my own Blessings... and difficulties...I remind myself that having time off is such an amazing Blessing, especially for a writer. Now, thankfully I am back in action again and while time off was wonderful, economically speaking, working is better.
However, the time off time has launched me fifteen chapters into the latest book that I didn't think would be done for quite a while. It also allowed me time to get deeper into the story and characters ... and my latest characters are doing a lot of things I never expected.
I think everyone should be lucky enough to get unplanned time off in early spring. Even if I am thankful now to be back in action. The spring reminds of the Kentucky Derby... of little colts and fillies dancing around on misty rolling hills, of fresh things, fresh starts and endless possibilities.
They key is to be thankful for the moment you are in even when your life is shifting, be thankful for your family and friends, and do not fret so much about what you should be doing, or why things didn't go exactly like you might have planned...or thought you wanted.
The Bay Area in spring is too lovely for words. A few weeks ago I drove to one of my favorite locations in Mountainview that has the most amazing view. It is an inspirational place for me where I get lots of ideas and often brings me happiness and comfort in times of trouble. And it also reminds me that to truly live, to truly be an excellent writer, to truly understand the human existence...that sometimes we must hurt...let go of things. Sometimes we must take risks. Sometimes things don't turn out like we expect.
Sometimes we have to do things that are really difficult because life brings us difficulties. We always do what is right and remain steadfast in our values of doing the right thing and it always does work out better than we ever imagined.
You have to see the world in a whole new way... sometimes that means stepping back and away. It also means starting over, pressing reset and going in a new and positive direction.
When things change and go in a direction you didn't expect, while it might seem unfortunate at the time, it almost always takes me to new and exciting adventures. And in this case, it has been an amazing new direction and I am so happy. And yes, very grateful.
Unfortunately this means Paris is going to wait a year, but my theory is that it means it will be an even more exciting adventure next year. I will have had time to plan even more amazing adventures.
And Paris in 2015? Well, "Paris is always a good idea." And I will add to that...in spring....it is even a better idea. We are now planning new adventures when we go in a year to include Monaco, Bordeaux, Champagne and other locations we previously might not have visited....By then I can celebrate another book (or two) and a successful year in my new adventure.
In the last month I have been reunited with old friends and made lots of new really fun friends. That is a whole lot to be thankful for and I am counting all my blessings on this fine spring day.
To my fans, friends and readers, thank you again for my best month ever and for just being good friends.
I hope this moment finds you every Blessing and every happiness and that you too enjoy a fine spring day wherever you are.
Merry Christmas! And may this New Year be filled with love, laughter, perfect health and prosperity for everyone!
Yes at long last I did finish on my birthday (or within a day or so) The Wine Prince - Vine of Obsession! This was my first "light erotic" romance. It was a lot of fun and I admit that the really naughty scenes were written with the assistance of wine, and of course, one must do sufficient research by reading various similar materials for "inspiration".
Thank you to both of my amazing editors and dear friends Debbie and Liz.
This book was a journey. Despite my wonderful editor Liz who wanted "shades" of The Letter (concocted over margaritas with our other friend Cindi) I had to admit about a fourth of the way into the real shades that while my characters could take some erotic journeys ....they certainly were not going to take all of them. I decided that I wanted a male character with a fine hand not a billy club.
However, were it not for Liz and her notion of kicking up the next book to be into the erotica range and her insistence that I read the real shades, the book could not have been what it turned to be. In writing it, I sometimes went deliberately and deliciously "anti-shades".
When Liz read the book for the first time she was a bit surprised. I kept from her almost every detail. I was so stealth that she thought a sequel to The Letter would be Victoria and William's children...but alas, it was generations later...it had to be because I had already started writing the book when I started to go "shady". Plus, it was not at first ever intended to be a sequel to The Letter. However, in fashioning it to be both a sequel, then adding the light erotica...the whole story took on new life and ended more amazing than even I had predicted.
John-Pierre is obsessed and dominating just like William was in The Letter so that part was easy. I also added excerpts from The Letter and that generated a lot of sales for that book...that was fantastic...but it had a purpose because there was a similar pattern and I think it really made the book pop.
So excited was Liz about this book that we met at The Palace Hotel for lunch to go over the book and her suggestions and celebrate my birthday the day after she finished it. I was, of course, eager to meet with her because she used words in her email like "OMG I couldn't put it down!"
After so much work, you soak in a moment like that.
At The Palace Hotel where it is quite beautiful, but quiet, there were a number of Christmas parties going on around us. And they did get to hear Liz and I debate, somewhat heatedly, the difference between a particular scene in Iron Horse King that involved what I call "love taps" and being beaten painfully.
We did turn a head or two, but really were too excited to care. I wonder when the last time a conversation like that has happened in that famous and opulent dining room (perhaps more often than I imagine).
But I knew I had found a new love for Liz to replace her other unmentionable hero when she said of the main character, "John-Pierre would never have served ... He would have had ..." As an author, I sat there knowing I had created a person that Liz would and did love (and she knew what he would serve!). He was a character with a fine, but yes naughty, hand and I believe I obtained the same effect without....without the pain!
I am lucky and blessed to have such an editor who might just be more excited about the book than me.
Editor Debbie also confided that it might be my best book. Though like Liz she favors The Letter and Iron Horse King. I believe Iron Horse King is my best book. But of course Iron Horse King was based on a real person and he already was bursting with character...I just had to find the right counterpart and figure out how to make the book comprised of historical facts, fun and romantic.
Writing is a funny thing. One single thing can change the entire book. In Iron Horse King I originally was going to call the book "The Train". But I had measured down not just the name of the book but also the true character of the person it was written about.
One day, I just thought "Iron Horse King." I pictured him in a top hat and tail coat climbing out to the top of the train and it changed everything. From that moment on the character became true to life with the intensity of the real character and I gave him the boldness that was true to the real person that was his formula.
John-Pierre was also a mild character until he went erotic. One moment he was one person and then I turned him into a Frenchman that was a previous army sniper. Very fun and delicious.
That is the amazing thing of being an indie writer. You do write raw. In the end I made the book, the story and the characters, exactly what I wanted. More amazing is that world-wide people buy my books every day. I still can't believe that. I am humbled and feel such gratitude. My dream is complete, it can only get better.
I am taking a little time off for Christmas to spend with my husband (son is working), but the next book is getting started in the New Year. The new book will take us to Europe. That is all I will say right now, oh and will involve "Summer" character (friend of Bethy) from The Wine Prince.
Editor Liz and I are headed to Paris, Bordeaux, Champagne and Monaco (Two weeks in France starting May 1 -OMG!). I need to work on research and scenes. I am blessed to have a really kind friend that has offered me a free flat in Paris. My husband is not keen on Paris so he was happy to send me with Liz! (with warnings of course to not get into too much trouble...which of course I wouldn't. :)
But "Paris is always a good idea."
Editor Debbie has a little too much going on to go, though she was tempted (and I can't even get her to visit me for a few days!). But she will be there in spirit. She has been my friend since I was four years old and we went to the Catholic school together (only she wasn't Catholic). She has put up with my craziness all these years...hopefully now she only sees me as "an eccentric author" rather than just crazy. I am certainly going with that. She is about to start following her own passion now and I am so proud of her.
The only negative to all of this is that now that I went a bit "shady" with light erotica..I have to suddenly contemplate that people I know will read this book. Oh well...being a writer is being a writer. I learned long ago that you can't write books if you are worried your mother (and presumably anyone else) will read them.
My dear mother passed away when I was 16 and she was 42. She probably would be a little scandalized but in her last days, I promised her I would take every adventure that she never got to take (though I am not sure if writing light erotica was what she had in mind for the daughter she sent to Catholic school). However, I am sure she would appreciate the adventure she never took in being an author. And I do believe she would be proud.
If you are going to write, it is best to write raw and take a few risks.
This year has been an amazing year. It started out to be not just extremely difficult, but almost a complete disaster personally. Yet, it became more and more magical with each passing month. Which does confirm my belief not just in Santa and Miracles, but just the goodness in people and the wonder and mystery of life. There is a plan for all of us, even when we are afraid of the steps to get there.
No one could ask for a better year. I got the opportunity to go to Paris in May 2014, though a working trip it is also a fun trip.
I saw the complete turn around at the America's cup and as a mother and wife of soldiers was touched as I watched literally thousands of Americans pass by me with American flags when I thought I would be the only one (this was SF after all and not really known these days as being particularly patriotic...though in the past it was a big Navy town). I was proven wrong...because thousands did walk by me with flags.
Third, I relearned to ride a bike and my limp is nearly gone. I can dance again. I did a lot of things I never thought I could do.
My books really started to take off and I have consistent sales that increase...yes...perhaps only in tiny bits...but all the same...they do increase and that is more exciting than I can describe. So I really became an author in my own heart.
This was a truly Blessed year despite the hardships at first.
And the year is going to close out perfect. My husband is flying to see me so we can spend Christmas together. We will go down to Monterey/ Carmel, have the Christmas Buffet at The Palace (Yaay I don't have to cook!) and celebrate some milestones for our family.
I wish for all of my family, friends, readers and fans to have a truly Blessed Christmas and that 2014 will be your best year ever for each of you.