Licensed to Write

Licensed to Write

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When worlds collide

Sometimes my lawyering and writing worlds mesh.

For example, I contribute articles to a website entitled Living Las Vegas. So I decided to do an article on a just-opened restaurant/lounge/nightclub here in Vegas, called Lavo.

How does someone like me know about Lavo, the coolest place in town, created by the same group that owns Tao Las Vegas, the other coolest place in town? Simple -- because my firm represents that group in some ongoing litigation. In fact, one of my very best briefs came out of that bit of representation.

And so, last night I found myself venturing into the domain of the beautiful people. Hey, I was “on the list!” Plus, I have the stamp on my wrist (didn’t wash off!) and the plastic bracelet to prove it.

Okay, let’s be real. I don’t drink, can’t dance, and abhor crowds. Nor am I in my twenties, blonde, or suited to wearing anything with spaghetti straps or four inch heels. So I won’t be imposing on my clients to get on that list very often. But it was fun to be among the cool crowd for the night.

The more adventurous among you will love it, though.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A bad week coming up

This week is going to be bad for fiction writing. I've several briefs coming due in the next ten days or so, so my creative energies will be focused on legal issues.

The good news? I passed the 200 page mark on My Dog Carries a Knife.

Oh - and I'm being interviewed on the radio tomorrow with Lisa McLaun, who blogs at We talking about blogging!

Monday, August 25th at 10:00am on KNPR 88.9FM,

I've been playing with Facebook. I've much to learn when it comes to that stuff!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm baaaackkk

It's been awhile. Day job has been busy. But I'm back. Since I last posted, I've written about 50 pages in My Dog Carries a Knife. Slowly, but surely....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sunday progress

Note the increase of 8 pages in my progress list. It's not much, but it's something.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Getting copies of my own books

I never thought this would be a problem.
Or, at least, not for what I refer to a “the Archetype book” – The Complete Writers Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes. Back when I was on the writing conference circuit, I would order box after box of these things, usually by letting my editor at Lone Eagle know I needed them. That worked until about 2005 or so, when Lone Eagle, which had previously been sold to IFilm, was sold to a new company.
But by then, I was working full time as a lawyer again, and had stopped going to so many workshops. I was no longer selling the books myself. I had a case or two left from conference days, and occasionally dragged a few along when I spoke locally. And every now and again, someone would decide that paying full price for the book with autograph was better than the steep discount Amazon offers. [I’m flattered!]
But in April, just before the Las Vegas Writers Conference, I discovered (or perhaps was reminded?) at the last minute that I need to bring my own books. And AACK – I only had 11 left. Well, those went quickly.
And then there were none. I mean –I do not even have a copy for myself, other than a manuscript copy. And I am speaking at a few writing venues in the coming months.
Well, I can, of course, just buy it at the store like everyone else. In fact, I could buy a bunch a copies at Amazon for that nice discount. Amazon’s good, but hey – I can get it half price!
If, that is, I just figure out who is selling them days. Seems Lone Eagle keeps getting passed along to bigger and bigger publishers.
My royalties come from a company called Nielson. But apparently that’s a dead end for buying the books.
After four phone calls, and four emails –all to different people and companies, I finally tracked them down. Turns out that Random House now owns Watson-Guptill, who in turns owns the Lone Eagle imprint. Or so they say.
But, the good news is - my books are on the way.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Back in the saddle

Well, so much for sacrificing all for the client. I tried, really I did, but the brief was not coming together in a way that I could consider anywhere near my standards. Truth, I was just too sick.

Fortunately, illness is an acceptable excuse for an extension. And thank heavens for paralegals who can put together a request, because by the time I was ready to admit I couldn't get it done, I was in no shape to do even that. But I have a great appellate paralegal named Martha, who got it done for me. I was out on Monday, and was even sicker on Tuesday.

I came in to work yesterday, but that was mostly to get my hours for the month of May in. I was way late. It may seem crass, but the truth is, if we don't send bills, we can't pay our own. And the computer needs the electric bill paid. Plus, I might get yelled at if I don't get them in.

While at work yesterday, I was able to put out a few fires that were still smoldering from my absence, review a court order that gaveth and tooketh away (mostly gaveth, fortunately) and then went home to bed again.

Today, I am back. I still fear I'll lose a lung with every cough, but at least I can still up straight. more importantly, I can think straight.

Meanwhile, my latest contribution at Living Las Vegas is up, a paean to Boyd School of law, celebrating its 10th anniversary. See Law School, Vegas Style.

But have I written any fiction?

Of course not.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sundays, briefs, and illness.

This year, Sundays have been the most productive for me, in terms of my fiction writing. This is because my critique group meets on Sunday afternoon. Each member is expeted to bring up to 10 pages of new material.

What this means is that I am generally writing those 10 pages Sunday morning. Sounds stressful, but it has worked. We've met 14 times, and thanks to that critique group, I have written 138 pages of My dog Carries a Knife.

We are not meeting today, though. My husband, Steve, was planning to run a marathon in San Diego today. But he got sick, so we cancelled the trip.

That turned out to be a good thing for me, because I had an appellate brief due Monday. The calendar in my head, which I should NEVER trust, said that brief was due June 11. Fortunately, the calendar that appears at my desk had a reminder about this brief.

Of course, I am sick, too. Slight fever, very sore throat, cough, aches and pains, etc. But the brief is due. And so I will write it today, polish it tomorrow, and file it.

I will not work on my book.

I will feel guilty for the five minutes it took me to write this post, when I could have been researching cases or outlining the brief, or whatever.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Welcome to the first post of my new blog.

This blog is about trying to maintain my sanity while pursuing my day job as an appellate lawyer at the Nevada law firm of Kummer Kaempfer Bonner Renshaw & Ferrario, while also pursuing a career as a writer.

The blog is called Writing in Nevada because I do a lot of that - write in Nevada, that it. I live in Henderson, Nevada (essentially a suburb of Las Vegas). I work in Vegas, at the Howard Hughes Center, which is not far from the Strip.

And I write.

In my job, that is pretty much all I do - write briefs. That is by choice, by the way, so don't feel sorry for me. I actually bargained for the option to not go to court; it's part of my deal with my boss. I actually don't mind appellate court, but I hate district court. Too much time spent waiting. In appellate court, things are scheduled and there are time limits. Patience is not one of my virtues.

Other writing I do at work consists of a blog about appellate law and legal writing (and whatever else strikes my fancy) and the occasional law related article.

When I am at work, I might be writing articles for Living Las Vegas, a website that reveals what life is really like here in Vegas. Or I might be working on my fiction. I am a published romance writer. My first novel came out in 2005.

I also like mystery, and am currently working on what I hope will be a series. It features a divorce lawyer who ends up owning a wedding chapel. She also ends up with a basset hound named Columbo. I like bassets. Expect to hear about my two bassets. A lot.

Here's the thing. I have a fairly good success rate at selling my work. I sold my first short story to the first magazine I sent it to (for $500!). My coauthors and I sold our first nonfiction book for writers to the 2d publisher we sent it to. I sold my first novel to the second publisher I sent it to.

So why haven't I sold more books? Simple - I spend more time writing briefs than I do writing books.

So my solution to this dilemma - create something else to write instead of books.

Okay, sounds stupid. But what I am creating is accountability. With this blog, I am promising the world that I will keep writing the fiction. Help keep me honest!