Friday, September 30, 2011

List Fascination by Lynne Marshall

List Fascination (And I’m not just talking NY Times Bestselling)

First off, I’d like to thank Mona Risk and Voices From the Heart for inviting me to guest blog today. As a Mills & Boon, Harlequin, and Wild Rose Press author, I am thrilled to be here.

Are you a list maker? Do you know one? I wrote about one in ONE FOR THE ROAD, my current contemporary romance from The Wild Rose Press. Writing lists helped D’Anne Palmer make her out of control feelings manageable. If she could lay down some ground rules, in her mind, she’d have a better shot of surviving her radically changing circumstances. But more about that later with an excerpt.

One thing I’ve noticed, thanks to TV and entertainment shows, is that people not only make lists, but they read other people’s lists too. Especially top ten lists. Movies, books, records – an artist hasn’t arrived until they make a list – best colleges, best states to live in if you’re single, best retirement cities for our seniors, best football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer teams. You see what I’m saying?

Our fascination with lists led me to Google, and you know what happens when you resort to the Internet – weird stuff. So strictly in the name of blog entertainment, I’m going to share some of the lists I discovered on-line.

The Top Twenty List of Last Words Written by Famous People in their Suicide Notes (I kid you not). No, I’m not going to share what they wrote! This list included Virginia Woolf, Kurt Cobain, Freddie Prinze (not to be confused with Freddie Prinze Jr.), and Vincent Van Gogh, to name a few.

Here was another interesting list: Celebrities Who Have Been Stabbed. Out of seven, the only person I recognized on that list was an actress from the 80s (maybe the 70s) named Theresa Saldana. I think she was in Raging Bull with Robert DeNiro Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Andy Warhol get stabbed? Or maybe he got shot. Hmm, off to look up a list of celebrities who’ve been shot when I finish this blog.

Here’s a dishonorable list: All-Time Worst People in History. You can guess who’s number one, right? cough::Hitler::cough. Followed by Stalin and Pol Pot, and far, far, too many others.

Looking for a list that’s a bit more fun? 16 Most Surprisingly Bilingual Celebrities. This list includes Sandra Bullock, who speaks fluent German, and Bradley Cooper who speaks French, which he learned as an exchange student during high school.

In the US we have David Letterman’s top ten lists of silliness on his late night show.

Don’t forget the lists we write for ourselves: Grocery lists, honey-do lists, Christmas/holiday/birthday lists, guest lists. How about a list of reasons to break up with your current significant other? What was the name of that movie? Ten Things I Hate About You.

We do seem to be a society fascinated with lists, don’t we? My call out question to you readers, and hopefully blog commenters today is two-fold: Are you a list maker? If so, what’s the weirdest list you’ve ever made?

As a set-up for my excerpt, here is a short blurb for One for the Road:

D’Anne Palmer leads a life others dream of until she’s widowed, broke, and must return to California by hiring out her Deluxe RV. One-hit-wonder Tyler White hopes his three-week tour will recharge his career. Journeying from Nashville to Las Vegas, can close quarters help a has-been singer and the widow with California style find love?

Excerpt from ONE FOR THE ROAD:
D’Anne didn’t want to admit it, but she probably was nuts to let a complete stranger come over to look at the RV. Why not just put a huge sign on the door, “Alone and vulnerable. Please take advantage.”

Why in the world should she take the campground manager’s word about some cowboy country musician? If she hadn’t recalled his only hit record, something about a honky-tonk heart, she wouldn’t have. His one claim to fame evidently still opened doors for him, even if they were only doors to a deluxe RV.

D’Anne practiced looking stern and businesslike in the mirror. It didn’t work. Smile lines etched into her cheeks and blew her cover. A tiny streak of gray across her brown bangs made her feel old. She’d been told she didn’t look her age, but today she felt

every bit of her forty-six years. Several sleepless nights hadn’t helped much either. And she still had to come up with a list of rules before the singing cowboy arrived. She sat down at the kitchen table, picked up a pencil, and began to write. Number one: No smoking. Number two: Pick up after yourself. Number three: No drinking.

She liked a glass of wine every now and then, so that wouldn’t be fair. She erased number three, and thought for a second, tapping the pencil eraser against her lip. No drunk or disorderly conduct.

“God help me,” she whispered to the ceiling.

Number four: No sex in the RV. She really didn’t want to go there, but figured she’d better cover the bases. Five: Be respectful and courteous to your driver and she’ll be the same to you. Six: Five minute showers. Seven: Toilet seat must be left down!

She read over her list then folded the paper and tucked it into her overall bib pocket. Thinking she’d like to sneak away and postpone the meeting, she put her foot out the door just in time to see a tall cowboy walking her way. He wore a brown Stetson propped on top of his head, tight faded jeans, and scuffed boots.

One word popped into her head. Big.

One for the Road is available at   The Wild Rose Press and   Amazon 
as well as multiple other e-book vendors on the Internet.

You can visit Lynne at her website:

Finally, FYI, I looked it up, Andy Warhol was shot by an irate scriptwriter. A woman. Now I’m off to find a list of top ten celebrities who have been shot…

Once again, thanks for letting me visit your blog!

Lynne Marshall


Vonnie Davis said...

Hi Lynne! **waves madly** How nice to see you here. Excellent post. Yes, I am a list maker. My wierdest list? Hmm. When I was a young bride, I used to make lists of how I would clean and made one for every room of our tiny apartment. I think it took me longer to make the list than it did to do the actual cleaning. Your book in on my TBR list. See, I'm still making lists.

Lilly Gayle said...

Great post and excerpt. I have a list today. List of blogs I plan to visit before settling down to write. Lynne, your post made my list. lol!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Vonnie!
Waving wildly back.
thanks for having me as a guest at your blog. I have to admit your list of how to clean each room is perhaps a bit OCD? The extremes that some young wives go to, to please their partners is funny isn't it? Or was that list just for you?
So glad One for the Road has made your TBR list. :)

See you at the Rose Garden.

Lynne Marshall said...

Oh, Lilly, I have to admit I make that same list of blogs each morning after reading the digests and loops. It seems almost impossible to keep up with all the blogs some days, doesn't it?

Thanks so much for putting me on your list today. Now off to see if you're on any blogs that I need to visit. LOL


Mona Risk said...

Hi Lynne, welcome to the Voices from the Heart. I have been a list person for as far as I remember. List of homework when in school, list of things to buy, list of things to do. Yes, I prepare my list every night for the next day. I've never stooped and I love to cross with a line the 'done' items.

Celia Yeary said...

Hi, Lynne--Remember I posted the opening line to this novel on my blog? That was so much fun.
But to the topic at hand--lists. I love lists, but mainly certain kinds. Top Ten Romance Novels of All Tim. Top Ten Fictional Cowboys. Best Movies about Summer.
All sorts of lists such as these. So, I can identify with them.

I would make lists when my kids come to visit from MI--the three boys are preteen or close, and can see what might happen in my neat-as-a-pin house.
However, I learned very quickly to just keep quiet, let them do what they want--short of tearing up the house, which they know better than to do--and I'd be happy.
I enjoyed your post--and I loved list you heroine made. Celia

robena grant said...

I get great satisfaction from my lists...especially when I can cross items off as completed. But what is it with shopping lists...I make them, and then leave them at home?

The fun internet lists that I browse are usually top ten best cities to live, things like that. Then I compare and remind myself that I'm happy where I am. : )

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Mona - WOw, I'm impressed that you've maintained your lists making for so long. I seem to go in spurts.

There is nothing better than the feeling of crossing off our lists, one by one, right?

Thanks for inviting me today, Mona.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Celia!
Yes - I was so jazzed to see my opening sentence do so well on your list of ten opening lines contest. Another list!

You're right, sometimes we just have to put our lists away and hope for the best - as with your teenage visitors. That was sort of what D'Anne from One for the Road wound up doing, too.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Robena - I'm just like you, I either leave my grocery list at home, or take it and still manage to forget something on it.

I love searching lists of best cities to live, too.

I just got home from vacation, but am ready to research a top ten list for best vacation spots!

Lists - gotta love 'em

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I am feeling boring here - I don't like lists and only do them under duress. Luckily hubby does the shopping now and I don't have to worry about them. I don't do outlines for my stories either. Guess I must be in the minority.

Maybe I should check into the lists you mentioned to see what I am missing.

I just thought of a list - when we went to Scotland, I did make a list of B&Bs to check out and make reservations for our travel. Now I feel better about myself.

Lynne Marshall said...

LOL Paisley - I'm glad to finally bring you on board as a list maker. B&Bs in Scotland is a wonderful list to start out with.

THough I don't make lists everyday, I do seem to get more accomplished when I have a list of items to tick off.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Katherine said...

I'm a list maker too but just for things I need to get done each day. If I don't write down the things I need to accomplish for the day, I invariably remember something that needs to be done just as I'm ready to go to bed. Of course there's the grocery list too. LOL.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Katherine - so right about forgetting something important just in time to loose sleep over it without that list.

I don't depend on lists everyday, but as I've said - I seem to have a bigger sense of accomplishment when I've finished each and everything on whatever list I've made.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Sarah Grimm said...

Hi Lynne! I'm a list maker, but only out of necessity. The busier I am, the more I forget - and lately I've been busy at work and in personal life.

ONE FOR THE ROAD is at the top of my TBR list. I love, love, love musicians! *grin*

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Sarah!

I know what you mean about being busy and survival means lists! Sometimes it is the only way to make it through the day.

Thank you for putting One for the Road at the top of your TBR list. I have a very soft spot for musicians too. : )

Thanks for stopping by,

Josie said...

Hi Lynne,
Welcome to our blog, and thanks to Mona for inviting you. I really enjoyed your excerpt. I am the queen of list-makers. :)

Nicola McKenna said...

Hi Lynne and everyone,
well I have to laugh as I read this post - I am a list maniac! To do lists, shopping lists, bucket lists, writing lists (by career, by fiction, by non-fiction). Oh dear. And then I put a priority on each item. Definitely a Type A here ;-))

I'm curious Lynne, what might a 'honey-do' list be? A not-so-subtle scrap of paper with stuff for one's husband to do? My honey-do list would need to take the form of a blue flashing neon light (that talks) before my darling husband would take notice. Wonderful (cave)man ;-))

Loved the post Lynne, hope to see you here again soon, and best of luck with Tyler and D'Anne!

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