Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Michelle Buonfiglio GuestBlog: My Own Best Playfriend

Stacy and Bamabelle, you've won the Pirate Treasure! Please send your snail mail to romance@ibsys.com. Congratulations, thanks for playing and please visit us again!

In case you're wondering, the correct answers were (1) Linda Howard, Beverly Barton and Linda Winstead Jones, (2) private investigator, (3) she has a ripped bodice to mend and (4) Fabio Cannavaro AKA Canna.

I discovered our guest blogger’s website quite by accident while Googling for reviews of a friend’s book. But what a fortuitous accident it was! She has a literary background and is a true champion for the romance genre. I had the privilege of meeting her in Atlanta (she’s beautiful both inside and out), and when she suggested a joint blog venture I had to contain myself to keep from screaming. Okay… I screamed when I told the other Playfriends. *g*


Please make room on the swingset for Michelle Buonfiglio. And check below for the scavenger hunt for pirate treasure. But please -- no spoilers on the answers.


Ciao, Playfriends! Finally – a playground where I probably won’t be the last kid picked for the team!

It’s great to belong, to feel like somebody “gets” who you are and what you do. And though cliché, I think that’s part of why a lot of us become writers.

Oh, but I forget myself. Here in the States, you’re not really a writer unless you’re getting paid to do it, and there’s a hierarchy even to that. Writers publish, and real writers publish novels.

So, you’re slogging along on your manuscript, and you’re poppin’ your daily page goal, but you’re not really a writer because you’ve not yet sold anything, right? And on top of that, even the folks we love most often seem to think the prose we sweat is some kind of hobby, an insignificant pastime.

I write Romance: B(u)y the Book, a column and features syndicated and published over the Internet, the most important medium connecting romance readers and writers. It’s the best job I’ve had, and I dig making friends with readers, talking with them about the romance fiction and sexuality and snaxy guys (note from the Playfriends: this snaxy guy is here today just for Michelle), while hooking them up with authors whose books they love to buy and read.

I spend a lot of time hanging with writers in real life, too, so I’m sure you can imagine how many pitches I hear about their novels. Yet I’m jazzed about that, cause I understand what authors go through, heart and soul, getting from blank screen to book.

But guess how many times I’ve heard these questions from those very women: Do you write, Michelle? What are you writing?

Only the columns that are gonna sell your books, biatch.

Of course I only think that, because being out-loud snarky would sap too much of my good karma, and Pollyanna here is so not about making people feel bad.

We’re really fortunate if we find support for our writing anywhere. But when we can’t always get it from our sisters-in-arms, it can get kinda hurtful, especially if our careers nudge forward faster than our friends’, or vice versa.

Sure, a paycheck can go a long way toward soothing our bruised ego or feelings, but:

What do we do when it seems we’re the only ones who believe in us? How do you and your fellow writers support one another? What’s the dumbest thing anyone’s ever said to you about your writing or wanting to write?

***************************

Pirate Treasure Hunt:

Find the answers to the following questions, then email your answers with HUNT in the subject line to the Playground Monitor tonight by midnight (CST). Two lucky winners chosen randomly from all correct responses win Pirate Treasure: A 12-Pack of New Romance Novels!


  1. From www.WritingPlayground.com The Playfriends have fabulous Mavens. Name them.
  2. Last week’s www.WritingPlayground.blogspot.com 's guest blogger, Linnea Sinclair, had a very interesting and sneaky job before she turned to writing full-time. What was it?
  3. Go to www.WNBC.com/romance and read the feature review of “The Vampire Who Loved Me.” What’s keeping Michelle from writing more great things about Teresa Medeiros?
  4. Oct. 6th at www.RomanceByTheBlog.blogspot.com : Who is Michelle’s European of Choice?

63 comments:

KimW said...

Welcome to the playground, Michelle!

Problem Child said...

Hey there Michelle! So glad you are here!

Can you tell us how you ended up with the second most coolest job on the planet? (I have to say second most because *my* first choice would be "writing (and publishing) novels." )

:-)

Smarty Pants said...

Welcome, Michelle! I would honestly have to say that without my Playfriends, I'm not sure what kind of support system I would have. Yes, my mother and my DB are supporting, but I might as well take up knitting as far as they're really concerned. They'd support anything. As for really GETTING IT and the new world that surrounds all of it, not so much. A simple note from an editor that sends me into fits (the good kind) gets a "that's great baby" before DB goes back to watching football. I'm glad I know I can dial up a Playfriend and share a celebratory SQUEEE while they talk me down off the ceiling.

SP

Julie in Ohio said...

Hey, Bella and Playground!!

I am not a writer but am always willing to throw in some support when needed.
I am a reader who appreciates the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to write a story.
So, writers, keep writing. I need more to read. :o)

Angel said...

Hey, Michelle! Thanks for filling the empty swing on our set!

I can't recall having any really ugly responses to what I write, though I've gotten a lot of "Oh"'s, said in that disappointed tone that tells you your answer didn't live up to the listeners expectations.

The encouragement from here on the Playground and other writing friends has been invaluable in keeping me on this journey. Many times it does feel like no one cares about my writing but me, so having that encouragement motivates and inspires me. Often I turn to them when I'm feeling discouraged and want to give up.

My husband and mother are both very supportive, asking me often about my writing projects. Though their level of "getting it" isn't quite the same as other writers, it is wonderful to have someone from the "real world" express interest and excitement. That being said, I've suffered from some discouragement over family and friends who ask to read my stuff, then don't follow through on reading it. There is nothing worse than asking someone if they read what you sent them weeks ago, only to hear they haven't had time.

Thanks, Julie in Ohio, for your encouragement. Many readers don't understand how hard it is to get these stories out of our heads and onto paper, much less published, so that kind of encouragement means the world to us!!!!

Angel

Playground Monitor said...

Welcome Head Bella! And all the other Bellas! Don't worry about wiping your feet cause it's pretty sandy around here already. :grin:

What do we do when it seems we’re the only ones who believe in us?

You form a group like the Playground and believe in each other! And you join RWA to be around other writers too. You take advantage of all that RWA offers. And when you make that first sale, you call the disbelievers in the middle of the night and laugh hysterically into the phone.

How do you and your fellow writers support one another? Lots of emails and phone calls with group "squeeing" when appropriate.

What’s the dumbest thing anyone’s ever said to you about your writing or wanting to write? I have two short contemporary novels that are stalled and filed away. Now I write short stories for the confessions magazines. Someone asked me once when I was going to do "real" writing. Lucky for them I don't carry a gun.

Marilyn

MaryKate said...

It's our Queen Bella! Hi Michelle!

Also, you guys know that the snaxydelish guy you posted for Michelle is who JR Ward says is the physical embodiment of Vishous, right? SIGH. I spend too much time lurking over there. But, it's V!!!!

OK, on to the topic. I love that Michelle has created such a nurturing environment that allows readers like me (I can barely write a sentence, let alone a book!) interact with "real" writers, both published and unpublished. Michelle herself is such a wonderful writer, and I always end up being in awe of the talent and smarts of the women who hang out there. I've come to love and respect Marilyn, and am always interested in her viewpoint.

You guys look like you've got an awesome sandbox for both writers and readers to hang out in, and I'm looking forward to exploring more when I have time!

Kimberly Raye said...

Welcome Michelle!

I usually just lurk here and over at RBTB, but I thought I would come out of lurk mode and say hello. You posed some really great questions. Most everyone takes me seriously now as a writer, but I remember the days when NO ONE did. I had only a few close writing friends (both just starting out) that I could go to for support. Oddly enough, they are the same friends I lean on now when I'm angsting about anything career related. I have to admit that I think I'm more insecure now than before I published. Crazy, I know. I still worry and angst, just about different things. Since I make my living writing, I worry constantly about my current book's performance, my next contract, etc. It's so nice to have a place to go where I can forget all of that for a little while, dish about the hottest guys or the most recent episode of Grey's Anatomy, and remember why I love the romance genre in the first place. Why we all love it. Because it makes us feel. Excitement. Desire. Fear. Happiness. Hope. Especially hope. It's why we read. It's why we write. It's who we are. And, while we may be small in number, we're not alone!

Kimberly Raye said...

I forgot to mention--my worst writing question. There are always the stock favorites that plague us all:
1)When are you going to write a real book?
2)I bet you have fun doing research.
3) Need any help doing research?
4) How do you do research?

Note* 2, 3 & 4 always come from a man and are usually accompanied by a lustful leer.

But my most recent question is always the one that stands out in my mind. So the winner for me is . . . "How long does it take you to write one of those books? A couple of weeks?" So sayeth the man cruising the B & N last week when I was signing stock.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hey, Playfriends! Thanks so much for having me today, and for sharing the sandbox with us Bellas, too!

You guys really are a supportive bunch here, and I'm glad you not only have each other, but welcome the rest of us into the fold. And it seems natural to me that "readers" hang here to. We want writers to be happy and content so they can keep writing the books we love -- and not make us wait so gosh-darned long for sequels and series novels. :)


Kimberly said she keeps going back to the earliest group of supporters, and I think there's something to be said for knowing best who's gonna show you the love. Then you have to know who you can trust to support you professionally, which is always trickier -- and bears the potential for getting those feelings hurt.

I can say that since Feb, I've returned to RBtheBlog time and again when I needed to feel like I was doing the right thing, not necessarily that I was writing well, but that my goal seemed to be moving along, and people were feeling happier when they stopped by than when they left. When I feel like the blog convo is singing during the day, and nobody really notices whether I have time to pop in a lot, that's when I feel best, cause I've brought these folks together who have so much in common, yet so much to learn from one another, too.

Then, I'm always pleasantly surprized and touched, really, when marykate or somebody writes, Hey, where's Michelle? I hope she's doing ok...

grrr. gotta go write but will be back soon! Grazie mille once again, Playfriends!

Oh, and Problem Child! All I have time now to say to your query
Can you tell us how you ended up with the second most coolest job on the planet?
is simply this:

I slept my way up to the middle. (more later).

Rhonda said...

Welcome, Michelle! The Playground is a great place to come and hang out. Glad to see you here.

**What do we do when it seems we’re the only ones who believe in us?** Call a buddy, b*tch, whine and moan until I feel better, then get back at it.

**How do you and your fellow writers support one another? ** With booze, commiseration and a hefty dose of encouragement.

**What’s the dumbest thing anyone’s ever said to you about your writing or wanting to write? ** Like Kimberly, I get the "research" questions more than anything and have finally found the perfect response.

Leering Jackass: "So...how do you do your research for those books?"

Me, deadpan: "I watch a lot of porn."

Shuts them up every time. :-)

amy*skf said...

I too have to de-lurk myself, yes it's because queen bella Michelle is here. But I'm thinking this would be a good safe place to hang.

I am an aspiring writer--or a writer aspiring to publish. I don't talk to too many people about it--I don't think my inlaws know...and if they do, mum must be the word. I actually tried to write a book with my sister, our book was set in New Orleans and when Katrina hit, we didn't have the heart for it. But she's never asked me what I'm writing now.

My husband is pretty good, but lots of times--it's treated as a hobby.

Michelle, every time I read your review column, I think: Why can't I write like Michelle?

amy*skf said...

Rhonda, LOL.

Jennifer Y. said...

Welcome Michelle!

This is fun...having two of my fave blogs do guestspots on each other's blogs.

MaryKate said...

SNORT. Rhonda, you rock!

Kimberly Raye said...

Rhonda,

I LOVE the advice! I'll definitely have to try that one.

Jennifer Y. said...

I love Rhonda's answers!

Playground Monitor said...

And you haven't invited us when you've had a viewing????? Hmpf!

PM

Smarty Pants said...

I just love Rhonda. :)

Playground Monitor said...

The contest entries are coming in. Remember to check out the 4 questions posted on each blog and enter to win the fabu pirate treasure: a 12-pack of new romance novels.

M

Problem Child said...

I heart Rhonda a lot too.

Some other good comebacks I've heard are:

Nosey pervert: Do you do all your own research?

Annoyed author: No, I have people to do that.

NP: Do you do hands-on research?

AA: I tried, but the keyboard kept sliding off his back.

Kathy said...

Michelle, great to have you on the playground today! One of the best things about this playground is...everyone gets to play.

I love your post. I think your questions have been best answered by Rhonda. You go, girl! I'll have to use that answer. All right, those who know me stop laughing. Maybe I should spice it up a bit and surprise people with that response. Nah, who am I kidding. I'd turn beet red with embarrassment before uttering a sound. I'll leave it up to you, Rhonda, and all you other gals out there who aren't as shy as I am to put people in their place.

Who do I turn to? The playfriends, of course. They always have your back.

Kathy

bamabelle said...

Hi Michelle! Hi Playfriends!

Ya'll are too funny with these answers! :)

Michelle,

What is the most rewarding part of your job? The least?

Playfriends,

If you had to choose a favorite trait for each of your fellow playfriends, what would it be?

Problem Child said...

If you had to choose a favorite trait for each of your fellow playfriends, what would it be?

Good lord, are you trying to stir up Playground trouble?

Actually, though, our personas are a trait of ours magnified. (Except for Angel, who really is an angel.)

I'll toss it back at ya--if you were a Playfriend, what would YOUR icon look like?

Playground Monitor said...

If you had to choose a favorite trait for each of your fellow playfriends, what would it be?

Angel -- She'd give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. Her generosity is unbelievable. And along with that goes compassion.

Problem Child -- She's not really a problem. She just looks at all sides of an issue and takes the route that's right even though it may not be the most popular way to go.

Instigator -- She tireless beyond belief. She has a husband and two small children, holds down a full-time job, writes, holds an office in our RWA chapter and planned the most awesome retreat we've ever had. I get exhausted thinking about her schedule.

Smarty Pants -- She's resourceful. We come up with an idea for the website and whammo! There it is online.

I could come up with long lists of traits for each Playfriend. Ya got a couple hours to listen while I rattle them off?

PM

Smarty Pants said...

If you had to choose a favorite trait for each of your fellow playfriends, what would it be?

Well, like PC said, our playground identities are really amplified parts of ourselves, so this will sound redundant, but its true!

Playground Monitor - she knows EVERYONE! I wish I was able to get out there and mingle with people like she can. I am a big chicken.

Problem Child - she's willing to take risks. As she often says, she's the canary in the mine shaft - always the first to go down in and see what happens. I admire that. Again, I'm a big chicken.

Angel - she is the most caring person. She worries about everyone and everything, running herself into a tizzy taking care of everybody.

Instigator - she's a motivator. I'll refrain from saying 'cheerleader' but she's always there to either crack the whip to get us motivated or give us the ego boost we need to keep going.

They're all fabulous women, but that's the quick and dirty off the top of my head.

SP

bamabelle said...

Okay Problem Child,

My friend was just on the phone and said she would describe me as sweet, loyal, and dependable. I sound a little like a golden retriever huh? Maybe I could borrow Kathy's bone icon lol!

Really though, I if I had to choose my best trait I think it would be compassion. I'm not sure how to make a cool icon out of it though. :)

bamabelle said...

Wow, you all really have some great answers! It's great how you all support each other!

Playground Monitor said...

Here's the icon for compassion, Bamabelle.

PM

Problem Child said...

Hey Bamabelle...

Don't feel too bad--Counselor Shelley once described me to her entire psych class as a Sheepdog. She says it's because of my tendancy to want to organize people, but I think it was a remark about my haircut. :-)

Angel grounds me.

Instigator motivates me.

SP amuses me.

PM inspires me.

Beyond that, I'll get all teary-eyed and this will turn into a giant love-fest.

Smarty Pants said...

::fans her face to keep from getting flustered and teary::

world peace!

bamabelle said...

Ya'll are going to make me cry too!

By the way, I love the icon Playground Monitor! :)

Problem Child,
I really like sheepdogs! We all need a little herding sometimes lol.

Now I've got to go feed my little eating machine, otherwise known as my son. :)

Jennifer Y. said...

I love how supportive y'all are! Great answers.

Jennifer Y. said...

I answered the icon/alter ego question on Michelle's blog, but I'll post it here too.

I am a goody-two shoes, but occasionally my inner brat emerges. I also have brains and did well in school...hmmm...Brainy or The Nerd (something I was called a few times). Or I was sometimes the teacher's pet in school I guess. LOL So maybe that could be my moniker...Teacher's Pet.

I think I would rather be The Nerd. Not sure what the icon could be. Maybe stereotypical glasses w/tape in the middle (LOL) could be my icon (no pocket protector...never had that).

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Geesh, Rhonda, I just watch porn cause I like it. Could I have been writing off the cost of DVD rental and download minutes for all these years?

Heya, Bamabelle! Good to read ya again. You asked: What is the most rewarding part of your job? The least?

I love the "reviews of the reviews," nice notes I get from authors I've featured, editors, publicists. I like to hear from authors that I "got" their work, and presented it in a way that's different from other places. But that's a professional thing.

I love how exciting it is knowing I've helped a reader choose a new book or she's taught me something about romance that I don't know.

I dig helping authors sell books -- cause I'm an 'it's about the benjamins" kinda girl, in the sense that I take my part of this business seriously so readers can spend wisely and authors can earn.

In truth, I was totally jazzed that Nathan Kamp trusted me to give an interview. And egoGrl inside me was jazzed when I scooped both Inside Edition and other publications that he turned down after my interviews were published.

Least rewarding has been -- on my mopey days -- not feeling the love, feeling caught between the writer and industry sides of romance, and feeling some fairly significant heartache when colleagues I thought were friends weren't as supportive as I'd have expected of our friendships.

But overall, I am crazed for what I'm doing and for what the last year-and-a-half has done for my life.

Carol said...

I'm also a reader who appreciates all the hard work that goes into the books that I love to read!

Angel said...

Wow! Y'all have been busy while I was gone.

Don't you just love Rhonda?!? If you knew her, you'd realize that is just something she'd say. Quick witted and funny, great, just like her books.

Oh, my, I'm not even getting into what the Playfriends mean to me. I did that this weekend and cried all the way through writing the cards. Don't have the strength to revisit that today. But it is really interesting that we are actually all different personalities, with different strengths and weaknesses, yet all complimentary to one another. Works out great!

Funny how people view writers as these total introverts who hole up in an office and write like crazy to the detriment of all else in their lives. While I'd LIKE for it to be that way sometimes, because it would SO fit my personality, life isn't that way. And most writers aren't that way. Many are outgoing, outspoken, and never meet a stranger (How they do it, I don't know! I've always been shy.).

Very cool meeting all you lurkers out there!!! Come post more often, ya hear!

Angel

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

LOL, JennY! I was hoping the Playfriends would award me a monniker. I mean, who knows how people really see us, right?

So, probChild. Here's some more of the story..

Christina Dodd once said that if you want to be a successful author, marry rich. I say, if you want to write a nationally syndicated review of romance fiction on a national network of TV websites...marry a guy who's vice president of regional sales for a national network of TV news websites. :)

So. My husband was SICK TO DEATH of listening to me talk about romance novels, and I had no one else cause we'd just moved to a new state. And he said, why don't you write a column for us about romance?

DAve!! said I, that would be nepotism! But he said he'd see if he could get me an appt to pitch to the vp of content, which he did. I created the project, she liked it, and the rest was history, albeit frustrating, cause the network had no experience w/ romance fiction or quirky content, so we all had a big, fat learning curve while my editor figured out just what the hell kind of voice I was writing in, and why it was understandable to romance readers per se.

And I learned how really low priority a column about romance fiction is to a network that wins Peabodies and Murrows, etc for things like its being one of the only news networks able to broadcast solid coverage during and in the days following 9/11.

But it's that very legitimacy that makes me incredibly thankful they gave romance a home on such a platform, the first and only one ever to do so.

Whatdya think? Does that make me a bad girl cause I regularly sleep with one of the bosses?

Kathy said...

Hey, Bamabelle, PM did my icon for me. She's great at doing stuff like that. Thanks for noticing.

Michelle, you said you had an interview with Nathan Kamp beating Inside Edition and others. Do you find it hard to get interviews? And when you can't, is it usually an issue of trust, a scheduling conflict or an ego issue?

I got the giggle-box award in Middle School, does that account for a playground moniker? LOL.

Kathy

Vivi Anna said...

Hi Michelle...fancy seeing you here Bella. I love RBTB. and Michelle rocks!

amy*skf said...

Michelle, I was going to give you an icon earlier...and then didn't.

It would be Pollyanna with a crown on her head and a pen in her hand. And maybe some cheaters perched on the tip of her nose.

bamabelle said...

Michelle,

I love your answers! I can always tell that you love what you are doing! :)

By the way, I think in your case you can get by with sleeping with one of the bosses lol. I think you could potentially be a bad girl though (especially if you met someone with the intials F.C. lol).

Carol said...

Hi Michelle,
It's nice to know someone who can get you an appointment but you created and sold the project and you write the column! I have no problem with that! Sleeping with one of the bosses is a perk! lol

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

LOL. Glad youz see it the way I do, bama and Carol. I've got to say that I took an offensive approach to talkin re how I got the interview. We all know that who you know can mean the diff bet success and failure. But very few get by w/out some ability after the job begins. I like to think I've created something unique and worthy of some merit, but that's not up to me, really. I just write the stuff.

Yes, yes, Bama, I could easily go astray for that one. Yesterday, Carly Phillips asked her bloggers who their dream guys were. Easy question. I stated the one you mention because he's short, has the bad boy thing goin on, and is most likely a hellish nightmare to be married to. Everything I always looked for in a guy, but thankfully didn't marry. Well, I did marry some of that, actually...

Kathy, NK was the hardest interview to get because of the trust factor, I think. It's really important to me that interviewees believe I'll do right by them. I have no reason to make anybody look anything but good; it's what I do. But cause I'm a columnist and "feature interviewer" I let subjects tell me when they've said something they'd prefer off-the-record. I may cry and beg them to let me write it cause it's funny or wild, but in the end I'd rather have the rep for being trustworthy.

Hopefully, the karma stays good and comes back around at some point. If not,I'm just glad I play it in a way I find ethical.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

From writer Coral Saxe: Hey, Michelle! An additional recommendation for Pirate Fans--I just found the premiere
issue of Pirates magazine with (who else?) Captain Jack on the cover. Lots of fun. I'm
passing on your site info to folks here in the Pacific Northwest. Feel free to contact us in
and around the Emerald City! Also, come next September, don't forget International Talk
Like a Pirate Day--Just say Aarrgh, or, if you like, Savvy?
Cheers and Good Words, Coral

Kathy said...

Thanks, Michelle, for answering my question. NK's trust of your work says a lot about you and your reputation. :-) Kudos! I applaud the way you came up with the idea for your column and followed through with it. So many of us yearn to do something and yet we become so consumed with everyday things that we put our dreams and goals aside, thinking to pick them up at a later time. Unfortunately, we all know that sometimes later never comes and the further we are away from a project, the original spark can be lost.

How do you maintain a love for what you do? Is it through the people you've interviewed? What they've left with you once all is said and done? What motivates you to sit down and write everyday?

Kathy

Playground Monitor said...

Love the story of how you came to do the column. You may have had the introduction from your husband, but you created and sold the project yourself. Nothing wrong with that.

Trust is a hugely important issue. It's more precious than gold, yet once betrayed almost impossible to regain.

That's one big thing we all have going at the Playground. We trust each other without hesitation. We know each other's dirt (not that any of us have much more than a teensy smudge on the cheek) but what happens on the Playground stays in the Playground.

PM

pearl said...

This has to be the best of the best today. What an honor to have these writers around. I love to read and welcome this hardwokring bunch.

joelle said...

It is great to have such a wonderful support group. No wonder you can get along and succeed at what you do. Never mind the doubters. You can and will aspire to even greater things.

sharon said...

You are indeed fortunate to have such a great job. We all envy you. Enjoy this creativity and best of luck.

Instigator said...

Wow! There are so many fantastic questions out there I'm not sure where to start. Let me first say that I'm sorry I wasn't here earlier. Baby Girl is sick today and I fully intended to get her settled and then come play :-) Well, I fell asleep watching cartoons before she did and just now woke up. I guess I haven't fully recovered from the retreat yet. Of course, this means I'll be up half the night...

Michelle, Thank you so much for visiting with us on the playground today! I know there are plenty of people in my life who believe in me but there's nothing like the support and understanding I get from my playground friends!

Rhonda, you are a scream, and one of the most supportive women I know.

My favorite trait for each of the playfriends?
SP's dry wit and humor.
PM's outgoing personality. She really does know everyone!
PC's ability to give you a kick in the rear, fix my commas, point out plot holes and motivation flaws and still make you feel good and special while she's going it. Angel's ability to make me laugh and cry and her unfailing support.

We were friends long before we started the playground and I think that has so much to do with the success our group has found.

Instigator

Playground Monitor said...

Everybody keeps mentioning my outgoing personality. If you only knew. I consider myself a shy person, but one who made the decision to creep outside her shell when necessary. I'll walk up to a stranger, hold out my hand and introduce myself if I need to. But most times I'm happy curled up in a quiet corner with a good book or a pen and paper or the AlphaSmart.

Hope Baby Girl is doing better and you both enjoyed your nap. I think I'm still dragging a bit from the retreat too.

PM

Jennifer Y. said...

I am very similar PM!

Smarty Pants said...

I wanted to pop in and thank you, Michelle, for playing with us today. I had a lot of fun hopping between both blogs and didn't get much work done otherwise. (Don't tell my boss.)

And thanks to all of you that came by our playground and commented today. We enjoy having visitors and hope you can come by again soon. We loved all the comments!

Don't forget to enter to win the Pirate's Treasure by emailing your answers to Marilyn tonight. The Playground also has a paranormal contest running through the end of this month with some great giveaways!

SP

Stacy~ said...

Sigh, late to the party again...I guess that means detention.

I wanted to de-lurk long enough to mention how much I admire Michelle and others like her who are more about supporting each other and the genre they love than they are about only loving themselves. I'm sure she can open many more doors with her personality, intelligence, and honesty. Plus she's funny as heck. Thanx for highlighting our Queen Bella :)

Jennifer Y. said...

Today has been fun! Thanks Playfriends and Michelle!!

Problem Child said...

Today has been great fun! Thanks everybody for dropping by (or de-lurking).

Big thanks to Michelle for having us over and for keeping an eye on the Playground.

We'll have to do this again soon!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

pearl and joelle and sharon and jennY, I think words like yours are what keep me going when I get discouraged. I really look to blogfriends for support.

Kathy, I enjoy your questions. My job often becomes a "careful what you wish for" situation. I started cause I adore romance novels, but soemtimes don't feel I have time to read "just for fun," and not in a way that makes me distracted cause I'm writing columns in my mind as I'm going.

The anecdote for that is: take a day to binge on old keepers, or novels by authors I love but can't feature again cause I reviewed them in the past 10 mos or so.

After that, I usually perk up and get excited all over again.

Interacting with authors and publicists and editors jazzes me, too, cause we share our excitement. And a great thank you from an author always makes me feel good, especially when they "get" that I don't just write reviews, I create a special entertainment around their novel.

I also enjoy that people like to tell me stuff about themselves so much they say, "you're not gonna write that, are you?" I've made them feel comfortable, not because I want to trip them up and get them to say too much, but because I want them to feel like they can tell me anything and know what they say in confidence will be kept that way.

But the things that make me feel best are days when I correspond with readers -- especially off-blog by email -- and laugh or connect in some special way.

Jennifer Y. said...

Aww...group hug! Y'all need to schedule another playdate!

Jennifer Y. said...

As I was posting on the other blog I had a flashback from childhood and remembered something. Whenever we went to the playground in school, I always took a book with me and sat on the side reading. I have always been a reader. Pretty neat I found a playground as an adult dedicated to writing and books. LOL

Okay...random comment over. LOL

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I'm thinking the same thing, jennY!

Thank you so much Playground Monitor and all the Playfriends. I'm honored you let me hang out on your swingset today. Well, OK, my thighs have that chain link indent in them now, but it should be gone by tomorrow when I show up at RBtheBlog.

I really enjoyed visiting today; this is such a healthy environment and really nice place to spend time.

Can't wait to see who wins the Pirated Treasure!

Well, grazie mille, amici! A thousand thank yous, my friends!

Ciao for now, and Buonanotte!

Michelle

ps I'm already feeling sad that playtime is over. :)

bamabelle said...

Oh wow, I just noticed that I was one of the winners! Thank you so much Playfriends and Michelle for the treasure! I had a blast yesterday too! :)

Congratulations to Stacy as well!

Stacy~ said...

Oh wow, I just got home and got the email from Marilyn - thank you so much! I love you guys LOL. Seriously, I really do. This blog is awesome :)